Can I use the thing that's paired as an adjective to "pair"?

If yes, should sock be singular or plural?

"sock pair"? or "socks pair"?


1 Answer 1


No, you can't. You can leave out pair -

I'm putting my socks on.

May I borrow your binoculars?

  • but it has to be a pair of X.
  • 2
    That's true for socks, but it's not true for all X - for instance electron pair is common in chemistry, and dog pair in dog sledging. In the cases where "X pair" is acceptable, X must be singular.
    – psmears
    Aug 18, 2022 at 13:27
  • 1
    @psmears - OK - I stand corrected. I think it's true of paired garments, spectacles and the like, though. Aug 18, 2022 at 13:30
  • I certainly can't think of an example where that doesn't hold...
    – psmears
    Aug 18, 2022 at 13:32
  • 2
    @manishma - psmears' examples demonstrate jargon that does not follow the idiomatic standard. Atomic scientists and sledgers (i.e. people who race dog-sleds) speak amongst themselves however they choose.
    – EllieK
    Aug 18, 2022 at 13:50
  • 1
    @EllieK-Don'tsupporther: Might it not also be relevant that a single dog and a single electron are perfectly natural things to exist on their own. But a single sock is pretty worthless even if you have one (and a single binocular or trouser can't exist in the first place! :) Aug 18, 2022 at 14:07

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