all an unscrupulous thief

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Norm

Senior Member
Spanish - Argentina
Hi everyone!

I came across this expression and I got a bit confused since I cannot understand the grammar there.
all an unscrupulous thief needs... Is it that "all" is not correct there?

"In theory, all an unscrupulous thief needs to start using a person's name is a few snippets of information, such as
discarded phone bill or a credit card receipt!"

Thanks
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "all" is correct here, meaning "everything."

    As a side note, I've never heard of a "scrupulous" thief.:rolleyes: (unscrupulous is redundant)
     

    Norm

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Argentina
    "all" is correct here, meaning "everything."

    As a side note, I've never heard of a "scrupulous" thief.:rolleyes: (unscrupulous is redundant)
    thanks! and yes I agree with Unscrupulous as being redundant!:)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If you are unsure of the construction being used here, it's similar to:

    "All you need is love" = The only thing you need is love.
    All a thief needs (to start using a person's name) is a few snippets of information = The only thing a thief needs is a few snippets of information.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi Norm

    Just to add:

    We can omit a relative pronoun when that relative pronoun is not the subject of the verb in the relative clause:
    All that a thief needs is...:tick:
    All a thief needs is...:tick:
    All that interests a thief is...:tick:
    All interests a thief is...:cross:
     
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