Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

You don't have to call me again to confirm about our meeting - just this one e-mail from you and my reply to it is well enough.

Should it be "is" or "are" in this case?

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I think the simple rules for numbering still apply here, so "x and y are enough" is correct.

"Will suffice" would also work in a more formal situation.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Definitely "is". The reason is because there is a singular subject, not a plural subject. What's the subject? The subject is reply. You must remember, the sentence really is :

My reply....is...

That should make it clearer. Thus, if your subject is singular, your verb needs to be singular as well. "is" is the singular form, while 'was" is the plural form. So use "is".

share|improve this answer
3  
Seems to me that the subject is the email and the reply, not just the reply. –  Matthew Frederick Sep 15 '11 at 5:39
    
@Thursagen - Did you want to say "are" instead of "was"? –  brilliant Sep 15 '11 at 6:04
1  
@Thursagen - If your answer is correct then I need to rephrase my sentence, because my original meaning in it was that the combination (of one e-mail and a reply to it) would suffice. That means that only the e-mail is not enough, and only the reply is not enough either. –  brilliant Sep 15 '11 at 6:06
    
@brilliant, I misunderstood your original meaning. In order to make it absolutely clear, perhaps you could write it as "It is well enough for you to write this one e-mail and my reply to it." –  Thursagen Sep 15 '11 at 9:39
    
@Thursagen - Thank you for this suggestion, but ... would that not mean that “to write” will be related both to “one e-mail” and to “my reply”? Will it not sound as if the same person (the one whom I am addressing) was writing both e-mail and the reply? –  brilliant Sep 15 '11 at 12:44
add comment

It depends. If you're saying "X and Y", then they are enough. If you're just saying "X. And then Y", it would be is enough.

Do the email and the reply cover it well enough? "are"

Or are you just mentioning the email, then saying that the reply covers it well enough? "is"

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.