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Is correct to use "Pant" or is "Pants" better?

Here the phrase below:

I'm wearing a red pants.

  • For more information on when "pant" is used, see this article. You are safe never using "pant" instead of "pants." – BobRodes Jun 25 '17 at 22:55
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Individual items of clothing which consist of two components (one for each side of the body), often have no singular form, and are always treated as plural even though they are a single unit. Thus, you would wear red pants or wear a pair of red pants.


There are numerous English words which are always treated as plural: scissors, congratulations, outskirts, jitters, forceps, savings, suds, etc.— too many to cover in one answer. But if we limit it to clothes (itself always plural), I can suggest these guidelines:

  • most garments for the lower body which cover the legs individually are always plural: trousers, shorts, overalls, breeches, chaps, bloomers, etc. Even a one-legged person would not wear "a" jodphur or sweatpant or boardshort; he or she wears jodphurs, sweatpants, or boardshorts. The explanation behind it is that tailors made them in two pieces, one for each leg, and so they always came to be referred to in the plural; a shirt or coat, in contrast, was made from a single piece of cloth.

    Terms referring to specific types or expressions of those garments also take the plural: dungarees, chinos, bell bottoms, and so forth. Indeed, even derivates and brand name uses follow this pattern, whether in the name itself (e.g. Dockers®) or by synecdoche: what comes between me and my Calvins? (i.e. my Calvin Klein jeans).

    In contrast, items which come as a pair of separate pieces follow regular pluralization: one mitten, one pair of mittens, two mittens.

  • suspenders / braces. In AmE, braces when referring to the orthodontic devices are also always plural; I'm not sure about BrE.

  • pajamas (AmE) / pyjamas (BrE) and derived nicknames like jammies, PJs, or jim-jams.

  • some lower body undergarments with legs or where a separate gap is provided for each leg: pants (BrE) / panties (AmE), boxers, drawers, long johns, jockies, knickers, briefs (inc. "tighty-whities"), tights, thermals— but not, for example, pantyhose, a jockstrap, or a thong.

  • eye and ear accessories consisting of single piece but with a separate component for each eye— [eye]glasses, binoculars, bifocals, contacts, shades, etc.— or each ear— earmuffs, headphones, cans. In contrast, you can have a singular monocle, eyepatch, or scope; one earring or one earbud. Headset is an exception.

Note finally that in some cases, a singular form of the word does exist, but it refers to something different: glasses and glass, slacks and slack, trunks and trunk, "Daisy Dukes" and Daisy Duke.

  • 1
    Certain words which are almost always plural have singular (or unmarked) forms that are used attributively, as in pant leg or scissor kick. – snailcar Sep 3 '14 at 19:24
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    I don't understand what you are saying about pantyhose. Although it doesn't end in S, I think of it as a plural. ("Those pantyhose look great on you.") – Adam Sep 12 '15 at 19:22
  • You can say "a red pant" in place of "red pants" in some situations though. dailywritingtips.com/one-pant-two-pants Just search Amazon's website for "pant". It's pretty evenly split between pant and pants. – ColleenV Feb 7 '16 at 12:46
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    To my mind, the use of "pant" goes along with the use of "shirtings," typically used by merchandisers of clothing to appear "Savile Row" elegant. It always sounds hopelessly pretentious to me. – BobRodes Jun 25 '17 at 22:46
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One exception to writing pant in place of pants would be if someone was putting something in a pant pocket. Although this is more accurate pants is also still acceptable.

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