I have a question regarding a pair of. What does it mean: A pair of scissors, a pair of forceps? Does it mean two scissors, two forceps or one scisorss one forceps (since they are pluralia tantum).
Thank you very much
I can't imagine 'a pair of scissors' or 'a pair of forceps' meaning more than one tool. 'Two pairs of scissors' means two scissors. 'Hand me a pair of scissors ' is the same as saying 'hand me the scissors'.
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Thank you Davkett very much for your help.
p.s.Of course you can't imagine it, but when you're not a native speaker than things are not so obvious.
Same as a pair of trousers...one item.
An easy way to spot this is that we would very rarely talk about a pair of single objects..we would say a couple.
Pass me a pair of pens. No. Pass me a couple of pens. Yes.
I need to buy a pair of telephones. No. I need to buy a couple of telephones. Yes.
I know the answer ! It was a lucky coincidence that I found out !
Shall I answer ?
Anon, if you want to answer a question that was posted and answered more than two years ago, please do. But if you want to put your talents to better use, you may want to find more recent posts that haven't been answered.
Alternatively, people refer to this tool as "a pair of scissors", in which case it (a pair) is singular and therefore takes a singular verb ("this pair of scissors is"). (In theory each of the two blades of the tool is a "scissor" in its own right, although in practice such usage is seldom heardhe noun "scissors" is treated as a plural noun, and therefore takes a plural verb ("these scissors are").
Can I say “two jeans” instead of “two pairs of jeans” or “thee glasses” instead of “three pairs of glasses”?
If I heard "three glasses" I would assume you mean three drinking glasses.
I would say "two pairs of jeans."