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Thread: what we need

  1. #1
    Kotfor is offline Member
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    Default what we need

    Which one sounds better?

    1) What we need is books.
    2) What we need are books.

    I suspect that the second one is better. Is the first one acceptable?

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: what we need

    Quote Originally Posted by Kotfor View Post
    Which one sounds better?

    1) What we need is books.
    2) What we need are books.

    I suspect that the second one is better. Is the first one acceptable? You might hear it.
    b.

  3. #3
    crazYgeeK is offline Member
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    Default Re: what we need

    Quote Originally Posted by Kotfor View Post
    Which one sounds better?

    1) What we need is books.
    2) What we need are books.

    I suspect that the second one is better. Is the first one acceptable?
    If I were you, I would ask for the grammatically correct one (or the one for formal writing not speaking and daily conversation). Unless you don't have to do English tests every term. Many other students and I need to use English grammatically correctly first before understanding other informal usages.

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    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: what we need

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello,

    1. IF I understand my books correctly, the first sentence is the grammatically correct one:

    a. What ( = the thing that we need) is books.

    Mona: We need something.
    Tom: What thing?
    Mona: That thing is books.

    2. Nevertheless, I think that many native speakers (including some "good" writers) would feel that your second

    sentence sounds more "natural."

    3. As another member has just said, if this were on a test, probably No. 1 would please many teachers.



    James

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: what we need

    Quote Originally Posted by crazYgeeK View Post
    If I were you, I would ask for the grammatically correct one (or the one for formal writing not speaking and daily conversation). Unless you don't have to do English tests every term. Many other students and I need to use English grammatically correctly first before understanding other informal usages.
    That's quite reasonable of you. But the use of 'grammar' often seems to mean 'arbitrary shibboleths imposed by prescriptive pundits'. 2 is not ungrammatical; it shows the grammar appropriate to a less formal register. So using the grammar of 1 in an informal context might give an unwanted impression. Personally, I would tend to use 1. That's why, during my Teaching Practice, I was known as 'the teacher who talks posh'.

    b

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