all I need is/are your pens

stevepham

Senior Member
vietnam
- Hello everyone, i am a vietnamese :), please forgive me if my grammar is wrong :). I have a problem with the word "ALL"


+ALl i need are your pens.

+ ALL i need is your pens.

==================> I don't know in this case, all is equal THINGS or EVERYTHING. Check it for me, I appreciate it :)

and 1 more question :

---is all of you considered as a pronoun or considered as a normal noun ? Because i want to know if it can't be added before two-part phrasal verb that noun can stand between it.
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "All I need" is a singular group like "everything".
    The salad is almost complete. All I need is a tomato. All I need is a tomato and some olives.
    "All the birds" is a plural group like "all the things".
    All the birds are gone.
     
    I had a quick look at some of the thread Paul linked to and they seem to raise a myriad of issues.

    Just for the record, pops says* "All I need are your pens." Myr says, "All I need is your pens." Correct?

    All the OP needs is a consensus answer. :)

    *CORRECTION

    Pop's text was as follows. It seems to me to indicate a choice of 'are,' for the rearrangement:

    Pops post #3
    Your pens are all I need. Does that help? Again, I'll bet on my BE friends to see it differently.
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I'm with Myridon: "All I need is your pens." = "My only requirement is your pens."
     

    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    I had a quick look at some of the thread Paul linked to and they seem to raise a myriad of issues.

    Just for the record, pops says "All I need are your pens." Myr says, "All I need is your pens." Correct?

    All the OP needs is a consensus answer. :)
    Actually, I said: Your pens are all I need. Same exact words, just rearranged. I'm not suggesting without equivocation that that is the answer. It just sounds right to me, but so does Nikon is introducing a new mirrorless camera next month, when a Brit would say Nikon are..... I am still flummoxed by these variations; clearly my AE influence.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I'm torn, here on the East Coast, but I think I'm going with the Californian (post #3) vs. the Texan (post #4), because of Pops' reversal demonstration. If "your pens are all I need" is correct (and it clearly is), then "all I need are your pens" must be correct as well. At least, I think so . . .

    P.S. to Stevepham: Welcome to the forum. :) (Please note that the first person singular pronoun "I" is always capitalized.)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "All I need are your pens" -- I'm thinking of the multiplicity of pens.
    "All I need is your pens" --I'm thinking of the pens as an item.

    I'm pretty sure I could use either.
     
    http://www.grammarly.com/answers/qu...l-verb-for-all-of-multiple-uncountable-nouns/
    'grammarly' quotes an unspecified source
    With words that indicate portions—percent, fraction, part, majority, some, all, none, remainder, and so forth —look at the noun in your of phrase (object of the preposition) to determine whether to use a singular or plural verb. If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the object of the preposition is plural, use a plural verb. Examples:

    (1) All of the pie is gone.

    (2) All of the pies are gone.
    --
    Bennymix: This would seem to lean towards the plural, for this case.

    The bbc website has some guidance which might lean to the singular in this case.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv266.shtml

    ===
    This thread dealt with a very similar case, but with only one opinion--seemingly informed, however:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=700779
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think we've had thread after thread about this issue - without, however, reaching a consensus;).

    For me, it's clear: "All I need" is singular, in 99 cases out of 100. (The hundredth case would be where there was an antecedent indicating that I had to interpret "all" as plural.)

    So, for me, it's All I need is your pens. But I don't expect everyone to agree with me:).
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I think it does mstter whelther we have a plural or singular noun in subject position. Thus for me both are correct:
    All I need is your pens. - singular subject
    Your pens are all I need - plural subject
    I highlight the word 'position' because with linking verbs the word subject is somewhat hazy- :)
     

    AlmostEnglish

    Senior Member
    Polish
    "All I need" is a singular group like "everything".
    The salad is almost complete. All I need is a tomato. All I need is a tomato and some olives.
    "All the birds" is a plural group like "all the things".
    All the birds are gone.
    Totally right and and explained in such a simple way.
    I'm gonna be cheeky, though, and say it should be "All the birds HAVE gone." :p One of those things so many people say that nobody thinks it's wrong anymore :p
     

    stevepham

    Senior Member
    vietnam
    There are so many posts here :D, Thank you very much, pals, I appreciate it. I am sorry for my late comment because I have an examination, it was a hard one so it did take a nap after doing it :) :D. So my final conclusion, please check for me if I am right or not.


    According to my knowledge,
    -All the birds is like all the things, right?
    + So i will say : All the birds are coming.


    -But when all is standing alone, it's like everything, isn't it ?
    + All I need now is your guns and your etc.

    ======> Check for me please, I want to make sure that I don't get you guys wrong.
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Steve, there was no clear consensus on "All I need now is {pens, guns, etc.}." Possibly there was a slim majority for singular.
    I think bennymix's example here is telling: If we are thinking of pens, guns, etc. in the aggregate, we use the singular.

    Looking once more at the OP sentence, "All I need are your pens", I could use this if there is a class of students and the speaker goes round the class taking away each pen individually.

    I just think it depends on your perspective.
    "All I can see is hundreds of birds flying around."
    "All I can see are hundreds of birds flying around."
     

    stevepham

    Senior Member
    vietnam
    ^: hahahahaha I have just gotten what you meant :)), sorry I am too happy that i can't take it. Did you mean ?

    All (the things) I can see ARE HUNDREDS OF BIRDS FLYING AROUND.

    All I can see is hundereds of birds flying around. (the word all here is absolutely standing alone right, and it means everything too )
     

    stevepham

    Senior Member
    vietnam
    Hey everyone please look through this for me

    -WE ALL has lost the game.
    -He will kill US ALL.

    -But can we say

    The people all has lost the game.
    -He will kill the people all. (I know when we talk about object we add all after a pronoun such as "you all", "them all". I see people always say in the game :"Kill them all", but if it's a plural noun can i say something as "people all, enemy all") Kill the enemy all ?
     

    stevepham

    Senior Member
    vietnam
    ^: Thanks for reminding me, my friend. But I think it's too late now :(. The idea didn't appear in my mind because I thought it was related to "ALL"
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    but if it's a plural noun can I say something as "people all, enemy all") Kill the enemy all ?
    No, you can't I'm afraid.
    If you need to discuss it, just post a new thread because, even though it's about the use of "all", it's a different question.
     
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