Hello!

I am an English teacher in Japan. I hve come accross the question of usage of "a pair of" with adjectives.

For example, we say: "I bought a new pair of shoes", "I got a new pair of black socks", and "That's a nice pair of glasses". But, is it correct to say: "I bought a pair of new shoes", "I got a new black pair of socks", "I got a black pair of socks", and "That's a pair of nice glasses". I know that the last sentences do not sound too good, and that for starters there is a matter of the adjective modifying either the word "pair" or the noun after "a apair of". However, are there any kind of rules for this??

Thank you!

Mario Padilla
Not a rule, I think, Mario, though the adjective 'new' should modify what you want it to modify, and here it is obviously 'pair', since the speaker already had an old pair, which was worn out or was an old prescription.

The reason I say no rule, however, is that there is some variation in these pairs. You can have only one shoe from a pair of shoes, for instance, but you cannot have only one glass from a pair of glasses.

I see no real difference between a new pair of shoes and a pair of new shoes.
A nice pair of glasses seems to be the only way to say it.
I got a new black pair of socks-- this seems wrong, since the pair is new but the socks are black-- you should go with a new pair of black socks.
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How about : This pair of shoes and These pair of shoes? Which one is correct? Thanks
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