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Hello Sir,

1. There are twelve pairs of bones in our backbone.

Is "twelve pairs" correct?

Somewhere I was told that if "pair" or dozen are used after numerals then are always singular only.

Thanks and regards.
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Hi,

Hello Sir,


I can only dicuss grammar, not anatomy, so I don't know if this is true about our backbone. Perhaps it refers to our disks?

1. There are twelve pairs of bones in our backbone. Sounds fine.

2. There are twelve pair of bones in our backbone. Sounds OK, but less common. I think the tendency today is to say pairs.

3. There are five dozen on the truck. This sounds fine to me. Dozens sounds wrong.

4. There are five dozen pairs of shoes on the truck. Sounds fine.

5. There are five dozen pair of shoes on the truck. Same as note #2 above.

Best wishes, Clive

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I don't think #2 and #5 would work in standard BrE.

But I think it would be fine in northern BrE, or some southern rural dialects.

MrP
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Comments  
CliveHi,

Hello Sir,


I can only dicuss grammar, not anatomy, so I don't know if this is true about our backbone. Perhaps it refers to our disks?

1. There are twelve pairs of bones in our backbone. Sounds fine.

2. There are twelve pair of bones in our backbone. Sounds OK, but less common. I think the tendency today is to say pairs.

3. There are five dozen on the truck. This sounds fine to me. Dozens sounds wrong.

4. There are five dozen pairs of shoes on the truck. Sounds fine.

5. There are five dozen pair of shoes on the truck. Same as note #2 above.

Best wishes, Clive

This "colonist to the south" would concur with Clive.
A pair (noun) is two idential, similar or corresponding things that are matched for use together: a pair of shoes.

But best to ask a pro.
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 MrPedantic's reply was promoted to an answer.