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
Looking for ESL work?: Try our EFL / TOEFL / ESL Jobs Section!
Anonymous: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.
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.
Anonymous:I know the answer ! It was a lucky coincidence that I found out !
Shall I answer ?
Anonymous: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").
I would say "two pairs of jeans."
People are waiting to help.
Related forum topics: