Can you use the word "one" to talk about plural noun such as fans?

I like this pants Or should it be I like these pants?

And can you use "one" to talk about jeans? I like this one

  • If you've already named a noun, you can use one to name it again without using the same name.
    – Schwale
    Feb 5 '16 at 13:32
  • This is a good question, but "fans" is just a regular noun, unlike pants or jeans. A fan, one fan, two fans, etc.
    – stangdon
    Feb 5 '16 at 14:12

It should be "I like these pants."

Pants is a weird word in English in that it has the "s" which would seem to indicate plural, but it could be singular.

Person 1 - What are you wearing? Person 2 - Pants.

Person 2 is only wearing one pair of pants, not three layers of pants.

If you were shopping with a friend shopping for pants:

(a) You hold up some pants and say "I like these" or "I like these pants." Here "these" could refer to one pair of pants, or three different pairs which you are holding.

(b) You hold up a pair of pants and say "I like this." Here you could get away with the singular this because you are holding one thing - whatever it is. However "I like this pants" would be wrong.

Jeans is a word like pants. One pair of jeans is still "jeans."

You're with a friend shopping for shirts. You hold up something and say "I like this one." The expectation is that you're holding one shirt. The expression makes no sense if you're holding three.

  • A lot of words for clothing on the bottom half of the body work like this: pants, jeans, trousers and knickers act according to this pattern. So do tools like scissors and shears.
    – kasfme
    Sep 3 '16 at 7:57
  • @kasfme Although some women's fashion stores refer to them as "pant" to mean one pair of pants (which is odd two, since a pair of pants are a single item) :-)
    – Andy
    Nov 5 '16 at 1:57

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