During an internet chat, one of my American friends said:

"Two books is enough"

I instantly felt weird about the verb and asked him "shouldn't the verb have been 'are'?"

But he said he feels perfectly natural about that and also, cannot explain the reason why.


with regard to principles of the agreement between the subject and the verb, there is one called "notional agreement", meaning if the speaker identifies what he utters as "one", or "a whole", or "two parts", then the form of the verb changes accordingly to reflect "the notion".

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    For example "Two books is enough reading for the holiday, you don't need magazines as well" treats the books as a single item and contrasts them with the magazines (which are also treated as a single item). It's a little like talking about units of materials or ingredients, for example "Three tonnes of gravel is enough for a driveway this size" or "Two pinches of cayenne is enough to give your dish piquancy". – BoldBen Oct 21 '20 at 7:46
  • I hadn't heard of this term but it is an excellent description of what I would have liked to say. Thanks for a new and valuable piece of vocabulary. +1 – chasly - supports Monica Nov 19 '20 at 13:32

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