A must or musts

”Salt and pepper are A MUST” or “Salt and pepper are MUSTS” Which is correct?

I believe “are musts” would be technically correct; however, in the south of USA, we would say “a must”.


Using ‘must’ as a noun sounds a little informal, and so in many cases either option would be considered acceptable, and would be understood.

In my area of the UK ‘a must’ would usually be used in the given example, but I wonder if this is because ‘salt & pepper’ is considered as a single entity.
Try an example where the items are less interlinked with each other, such as ‘herbs, spices, oils and vinegar are musts in any kitchen’ - the plural ‘musts’ sounds more correct in this case.

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To be 100% honest, I’ve said both…


Thanks. So both are acceptable!

Thank you, scottvm. I also thought about considering ‘salt and pepper’ as singular. In that case, why isn’t it be “salt and pepper IS a must”?

Thanks Eric! Both are okay!

You are right enough. I also think that a must would be appropriate.