Notoriously known as 'only plural' nouns (scissors, pants, shorts, glasses)


Can I say (take these one glasses (spectacles), scissors, pants, shorts)?

  • 2
    One of those items is usually referred to as a pair of X.
    – fixer1234
    May 7, 2017 at 20:56
  • 1
    Please don't answer questions using comments.
    – James K
    May 7, 2017 at 21:04
  • 3
    @JamesK, The comment doesn't directly address the question of whether "one" can be used, and doesn't cite an authoritative source, so I don't think it qualifies as an answer.
    – fixer1234
    May 7, 2017 at 21:18
  • It's still an answer, even if it's not a complete one. Comments are for requesting clarification and suggesting improvements, not for writing half answers.
    – James K
    May 7, 2017 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


One of those items is usually referred to as a pair of X. – fixer1234

These "only plural" nouns are an oddity, and you should not say "one scissors" instead you should use the expression "one pair of scissors". This also applies to short, pants, and glasses.

There are other plural only nouns that are treated like non-count nouns. For example "leftovers". You don't say "one leftover" or "one leftovers", nor can you say "a pair of leftovers". But you can say "A plate of leftovers" or something similar.


The way this is handled is to refer to them as a pair. So

Take this one pair of glasses.

Take this one pair of shorts.

It is definitely not correct to say "Take this one glasses."

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