I am trying to understand how to use the word scissors, I have read this question and I would like to ask if this information is correct. Am I right about these sentences?

  1. In my pencil case there are scissors (Grammatically correct, informal)
  2. In my pencil case there are a pair of scissors (Grammatically correct, more formal than (1))
  3. In my pencil case there is a scissors (Grammatically incorrect, common in spoken language and informal speech. For some natives it simply sounds wrong)

1 Answer 1

  1. Correct but not as informative as it might be. One pair, or more than one?

  2. Incorrect. “Pair” is singular. It has to be “there is a pair of scissors”. Then it is both correct and more informative than 1.

  3. Incorrect, as you say yourself, because “scissors” is in form a plural. I am surprised that you say it is common in spoken language and informal speech. That is not my experience. I would think that for all native speakers, and not just some, it would definitely sound wrong.

  • 1
    People often use there's as an abbreviation for there are. So there's scissors in my pencil case isn't uncommon, and it's possible the OP could have heard this and expanded the contraction. Nov 12, 2022 at 13:41
  • Hello, EMC. Please add supporting evidence for claims. In particular, the question of whether 'scissors' should nowadays be considered correctly used as a plural-form singular count noun taking singular verb agreement (?'a scissors lay on the medical tray') is moot, and well discussed in the duplicate thread [When is it correct to use 'scissors' as a singular noun?] Nov 12, 2022 at 17:25

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