I was trying to say this to my friend and I get so confused. Which sentence is correct here?

Can you see that guy with the red shirt?

Can you see that guy with the red shirt on?

Can you see that guy in the red shirt?

Thanks in advance!

  • 3
    All three versions are perfectly idiomatic, and mean exactly the same thing. Using a instead of the might be slightly more likely if the specific person being singled out wasn't the only person in view wearing a red shirt, but few native speakers would either express or recognise such a distinction in most contexts. Jul 12, 2019 at 14:53
  • 3
    With the red shirt (not followed by on) could be interpreted to mean he is holding a red shirt rather than wearing one. With the red shirt on could conceivably be interpreted to mean something like on his head. In theory in the red shirt could mean rolled up in the red shirt. If you want to be very clear (since this seems to be about nit picking), I would use wearing the red shirt. Jul 12, 2019 at 17:31
  • 1
    @JasonBassford Your comment would be a perfect answer.
    – AIQ
    Jul 13, 2019 at 6:21
  • “With the red shirt on” is something I’d say if I’m on a beach, and there are several guys, some wearing shirts, some holding them in their hands. Or I’d say “the guy in the red shirt” if someone else is carrying a red shirt in his hands. Very often no sentence is right or wrong, but they are for different situations.
    – gnasher729
    Nov 14, 2021 at 16:28
  • 1
    @Loviii: We wouldn't normally include on in your example, but it's reasonably idiomatic with or without (but the guy in the red shirt is far more common than both of those put together). Including him isn't remotely idiomatic in such contexts, though. May 15 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


You can use this sentence.

Can you see that guy with the red shirt?

Also, you can use this sentence. You don't need to use the before in red.

Can you see that guy in red?

You don't need to say "on" because when you use "with" it gives the meaning that he is wearing the red shirt.

Can you see that guy with the red shirt on?

  • "You don't need to use the before in red" is ungrammatical and unclear.
    – BadZen
    Jul 29, 2023 at 14:30

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