Needle set/ Needles set


Set of needles

Are all these constructions in conformity with the English grammar? Do they possess different meanings?

  • 1
    All three are grammatical. Set of needles would be the most common, followed by the phrase with the singular adjective (attributive noun), needle set. However, while much less common, there is no actual rule against using plural adjectives—and some constructions actually have to use plural adjectives in order to convey their meaning: a weeks-long vacation. It's quite possible that a needles set could describe a set of different types of needles. – Jason Bassford May 13 at 4:56

Without a doubt, it would be best to use "a set of needles"; "needles set" is definitely incorrect, whereas "needle set" has the risk of sounding like informal jargon and can be confusing to the reader unless more context is given beforehand. As for which of these conform(s) to English grammar, "a set of needles" is the only one that works formally. If you ignore the informality of "needle set" and invalidity of "needles set," they all essentially carry the same meaning.

  • 2
    1+ Informally, one might excuse needle set, as in my needle sets [knitting]. – Lambie May 12 at 21:40

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