A lovely three days or lovely three days

5

I came across a sentence which reads:

We spent a lovely three weeks in Canada.

Also sentences which read:

  1. A staggering 100 students attended the fee class.
  2. We have reached an amazing 1000 members this month.

My question is why to use 'a/an' where there are plural numbers like 'three weeks', '100 students', '1000 members'.

Abu Naim Muhammed Kalil

Posted 2017-03-13T18:05:21.210

Reputation: 733

You could also say, "We spent three lovely weeks in Canada." However you can't say, "We spend lovely three weeks in Canada." @JavaLatte explained it. – WRX – 2017-03-13T18:34:21.247

Answers

4

When you use a before a number like this, you are effectively referring to however many they are as a group of some sort, rather than the individual members of the group. Because there is only one group, it's singular so you use a.

a lovely [period of] three weeks.
a staggering [group of] 100 students.
an amazing [group of] 1000 members.

It is necessary to do this when you want to apply an adjective to the group, rather than to individual members of the group:

an amazing 1000 members. -adjective applies to group
1000 amazing members - adjective applies to members.

JavaLatte

Posted 2017-03-13T18:05:21.210

Reputation: 43 538