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!

Tip!

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.

Warning!

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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