When you are asking whether or not you have a certain items with you and those items happen to be things need to be said in pairs, can you just do without the phrase "a pair of"?


1. I need pants.

Is it more precise to say "I need two pairs of pants"? How do you know one pair or a multiple pairs?

I need eyeglasses.

Is it OK? Or should I have to use "a pair of" or "pairs of " for the sake of precision?
I believe you may very well drop 'a pair of' in expressions such as 'a pair of jeans' or 'a pair of eyeglasses'.
It sure is the most correct english to say 'a pair of...' but it seems to me few people would still say 'a pair of scissors' or 'a pair of tweezers' for instance, even though this is the right way to refer to scissors or tweezers.
If you wish to specify precisely that more than one pair of pants is needed, you say, "I need [two / three / ... / several] pairs of pants". If you just want to mention the need in a more general way, you say "I need pants".

So yes, you can leave out "a pair of" in the case of a generality.

But as soon as you use a specific number, you must use "pairs of". For example, you cannot say, "I need two pants".

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I cannot imagine anybody saying, "I need pants." But I can imagine somebody saying, "I need new pants for my old pants are worn out."

I cannot imagine anybody saying, "I am going to buy pants today." But I can imagine somebody saying, "I am going to buy a pair of pants today. My old pants are worn out."
You need to work on your powers of imagination! People do say "I need pants"! (For the same meaning in British English, however, you need to say "I need trousers"!)Emotion: smile
Apparently people who work in fashion do say "pant," but it sounds odd to my ears every time I hear it. "This is a lovely pant, primarily silk with a little Tencel for strength," etc. Watch Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and you'll hear it all the time. But in common usage, it's definitely pants.

By the way, I've recently lost 14 pounds - and I need pants!!
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Assuming it was not due to illness, congratulations! Emotion: smile

Thank you. Another one. A comma rule seems to be adament on that a comma needs to be placed in side quotations, whether it be a word in quotations or a whole paragraph in quotations. In your answer, why did you place the periods inside.
Not sure about that Anon... Think of a whole excerpt from a book with several sentences that you want to quote in your essay... Then you probably wouldn't want to turn the end-of-sentence periods into commas : I think it would definitely have no sense doing that... Or am I mistaken as to what you suggested saying periods would not be allowed inside quotation marks ?
Any grammar guru around to comment ?
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