there was/were only a handful of people about.

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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tamguatlay
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there was/were only a handful of people about.

Post by tamguatlay » Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:13 am

Dear Alan

An hour before soccer coach Avramovic led his soccer team onto the field, there was/were only a handful of people about.

Which word in bold should I use?

Thanks.

Miss Tam

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Alan
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Re: there was/were only a handful of people about.

Post by Alan » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:58 am

'Were'. 'A handful of' is a quantifier phrase that does not determine verbal number.

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