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I need some help with the following sentence in order to know whether it should be WAS or WERE:

a recent study revealed that the ninety percent of people who had decided to change their first job WAS/WERE more satisfied now than in the past, since their job conditions had improved significantly.

marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach Apr 7 at 7:57

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  • looks like it should be were :) plural verb (were) for people. Is that your homework? – Ubi hatt Apr 7 at 4:09
  • It's actually "ninety percent were" ... – Jim Apr 7 at 4:28
  • The location of the suggests a focus on the bin, not the people, and this leads us astray. Compare "the ninety percent of people who had decided ..." with "ninety percent of the people who had decided ... " These have different meanings. In technical writing, focusing on the bin would justify a singular verb, but then you get to the "more satisfied now" part. So it's back to people and were. Get rid of the garden path element. "A recent study revealed that among the ninety percent of people who had decided to change their first job, most were more satisfied now than in the past ..." – Phil Sweet Apr 7 at 12:52
  • @PhilSweet , let me know if this adaption is correct: a recent study revealed that among the people who had decided to change their first job the ninety percent was more satisfied now that in the past, since their job conditions had improved significantly. – pepo Apr 7 at 17:02
  • @Ubihatt, actually it is an essay in which I am working, would you like take a look on it? – pepo Apr 7 at 19:40