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I'm trying to wrap my head around whether any of the following are correct (apart from #3):

1) One of the tools I use is magnets.

2) One of the tools I use are magnets.

3) One of the tools I use is the magnet.

For #1, I'm not sure if it's correct or not. The assumption I'm making here is that "magnets" could be a collective, but I could be wrong.

For #2, since "one" is the subject, I'm fairly certain it's wrong.

For #3, I'm sure it's correct, but it doesn't have the same effect of plurality that I want to convey.

Any ideas or advice? Would greatly appreciate it.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Andrew, ColleenV Apr 17 '18 at 23:11

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  • One=is. Two=are. Magnets cannot be collective. One magnet, two magnets. – Lambie Apr 17 '18 at 15:09
  • You could rephrase the end of the sentence to make it singular while still referring to multiple magnets: "a pair of magnets," or "a set of magnets." – Canadian Yankee Apr 17 '18 at 18:18
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One of the tools I use is the magnet

This sentence is most correct because one is and the magnet are all singular.

Native English speakers often will say it like "One of the tools I use are magnets," because sentences like this are confusing.

  • I upvoted your answer but I would discourage most correct. It's either correct or incorrect although it might be the most suitable, the most appropriate, the best choice or simply preferable. – Ronald Sole Apr 17 '18 at 22:09

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