A pair of scissors, a needle and thread is/are all I need

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Hela, May 9, 2016.

  1. Hela Senior Member

    Tunis
    Tunisia - French
    Hello everyone,

    Would you please tell me which form should the verb take here? Thank you in advance.

    A pair of scissors, a sewing needle and thread is/are all I need to turn this old dress into a stylish new skirt.

    Have a nice day.
     
  2. dermott

    dermott Senior Member

    Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy
    B.E. via Australian English
    Which do you think, Hela?
     
  3. Hela Senior Member

    Tunis
    Tunisia - French
    My instinct tells me to use the singular. :)
     
  4. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    London
    British English
    A pair of scissors, a sewing needle and thread is/are all I need to turn this old dress into a stylish new skirt.

    There are three items so the verb has to be plural. It's no different from 'My mother my father and my sister are my only relatives'
     
  5. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    It is different from "My mother my father and my sister are my only relatives". "X is all I need" sounds fine to me, even when X is a group of (not disparate) items.
     
  6. Hela Senior Member

    Tunis
    Tunisia - French
    Thanks for confirming, Parla. :)
     
  7. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    Singular! Consider all three items as a group.

    [A hammer, nails and some lumber] is all I need to build a chicken coop.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016

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