Which is correct:
"a number of" or "number of"?

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a number of

This phrase is correct and commonly used in English.

Use 'a number of' when referring to an unspecified quantity of something. It is followed by a plural noun.

Examples:

  • A number of students attended the seminar.
  • There are a number of reasons for his absence.
  • She has a number of books on the shelf.
  • A number of people have complained about the noise.
  • There were a number of errors in the report.

Alternatives:

  • several
  • many
  • a few
  • a handful of
  • a couple of

number of

This phrase is correct and commonly used in English.

Use 'number of' when specifying a quantity without the indefinite article 'a'. It is followed by a plural noun.

Examples:

  • The number of students in the class is 30.
  • There are a number of books on the shelf.
  • The number of people attending the event exceeded expectations.
  • She mentioned the number of errors in the report.
  • The total number of participants is 100.

Alternatives:

  • quantity of
  • amount of
  • total of
  • figure of
  • count of
Both 'a number of' and 'number of' are correct, but they are used in different contexts. 'A number of' is used when referring to an unspecified quantity of something, while 'number of' is used when specifying a quantity without the indefinite article 'a'.

Last updated: March 28, 2024

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