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This question already has an answer here:

I think "a number of vendors are" is the right way, but "MS Word Grammar Check" suggested "a number of vendors is". I need a clarification on this.

marked as duplicate by Matt E. Эллен, RegDwigнt Jun 4 '14 at 8:57

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The subject of your sentence is vendors. As it is plural, it takes a plural verb as well. So "are" is correct.

  • 'A number of' [X's] is a compound (three-word) quantifier triggering plural verb agreement. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 4 '14 at 11:58
  • You're right. But if we cross out "a number of", still the subject takes a plural verb, doesn't it? – M.N Jun 4 '14 at 12:50
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    But if you cross out 'A team of' from 'A team of huskies needs a driver with a very strong personality', it can be seen that your 'test' fails. One needs to look at compound quantifiers, and collective nouns, individually. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 4 '14 at 14:08
  • Point taken. Thanks, Edwin. +1 for being perfect at explaining tricky stuff. – M.N Jun 4 '14 at 15:36
  • I'm good at explaining how stuff doesn't work. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 4 '14 at 15:52

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