Plural-Only Nouns for intermediate learners

Here, we will discuss some nouns in the English language that are always used as a plural noun, i.e. they don't have a singular form. Let's get to it!

"Plural-Only Nouns" in English Grammar

What Are Plural-Only Nouns?

English has some specific nouns that are typically used in the plural form and do not have a singular form. Some of the most common plural-only nouns include:

  • Clothing: trousers, jeans, socks, pants, shorts

Give me back my socks Anna!

  • Undergarments: boxers, panties, tights

I think it's better not to wear tights with that dress.

  • Eyewear: sunglasses, glasses, binoculars

With the sun rising, you better wear your sunglasses.

  • Tools: pliers, scissors, tweezers

Try tearing it down with these scissors.

As you can see, we do not use a singular pronoun for these nouns.

  • Sports: aerobics, billiards

Don't you like to play billiards with me?

  • Courteous words: thanks, greetings, congratulations, condolences

A : Today I got my bachelor's degree.

B : Oh! Congratulations honey!


In English, some plural-only nouns have singular forms as well. However, their meanings are completely different. Look at the following examples:

I think I will have to buy new glasses.

Here, the sentence is referring to the eyewear people use to enhance their sight.

Could you give me a glass of water please?

Here, the sentence is referring to a container we use to drink liquids and it is countable.

How to Turn Plural-Only Nouns to Countable Nouns?

Plural-Only nouns can be turned into countable nouns using the phrases in the list below:

  • A Pair of/Pairs of
  • A Set of/Sets of

Pay attention to some examples:

They need to buy a new pair of sunglasses for their son.

As you can see, the noun is plural but it has come after a singular phrase.

I need to buy two sets of scissors for my crafting project.


Always remember that when referring to these nouns, we use plural pronouns and verbs. Look at the examples below:

Look at my glasses. Aren't they cute?

(Not isn't it cute..)

Mommy, I want those shoes. Will you buy them for me?

(Not will you buy it for...)


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