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Instrument or tool or equipment I cannot get my head around those words and cannot use them properly. Let me give you a sentence.

Paper and colors made from pigments mixed with water only are essential _____ for water colour painting.

What should I use in this blank? Please help me I will appreciate all answers.

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  • 1
    Prerequisites, perhaps.
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 23:23
  • 3
    materials, maybe
    – The Photon
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 3:23
  • Instruments and tools are physical objects for carrying out a task (such as brushes, in this case), so if you must choose one of those three words, equipment is the best. Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 8:03
  • Note that instruments and tools do not need to be used up.
    – Peter
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 8:16
  • Ambiguous: Paper and colors made from pigments mixed with water Not ambiguous: Colors made from pigments mixed with water and paper etc.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 16:27

2 Answers 2

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Paper and colors made from pigments mixed with water only are essential elements in water colour painting.

Note: I changed the preposition "for" to "in". You could also use "of". But "for" doesn't sound idiomatic to my ear.

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Both "instruments" and "tools" are not used for things that are used up during a process. They are only used for things that remain after the process. So in making a wooden chair, a hammer is a tool or an instrument. Wood, however is neither a tool nor an instrument, since the wood is used up.

In this case "paper" and "colors" are both used up during the process of water color painting. So they cannot be "tools" or "instruments". The only remaining option is "equipment" which can be used for consumed things.

However while "equipment" can be used for things used up its an unusual usage. "Supplies" or "material" would be a better choice of word than "equipment".

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