Plural or singular? I want to tell someone that it's a rule in English that words which has two parts are spelled plural: Like pans , jeans and.... But to explain this I want to use " a pair"...Shall I say words which are a pair OR words which is a pair?
Sep 28, 2012 9:38 AM
Answers · 3
The nature of English grammar sometimes makes expression difficult and we have to adjust the sentence to conform to the grammatical rules. Although “pair” indicates more than one, when we use the article “a” we are indicating singular, in a grammatical sense. So we have to use words that conform to the grammar. In this case you might say: Words which are pairs… Words which indicate a pair… Words which refer to a pair… Words which refer to pairs… Words which mean pairs… Words which mean a pair…
September 28, 2012
You can say a 'pair of jeans', a 'pair of pants' or 'a pair of trousers' but in each case you would be referring to a single piece of clothing (with two legs!). Strange language :-) A pair of underpants or panties don't have any legs in them, and a shirt has two arms but cannot be described as a pair of shirts. Learn them as little phrases, I don't think there is a rule.
September 28, 2012
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