Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: pair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    133
    Post Thanks / Like

    pair

    Shoes, pants, scissors, glasses,etc. are combined with pair.
    A pair of shoes, a pair of pants, a pair of scissors, a pair of glasses...

    All I know about agreement related to pair is following.

    Shoes are...
    A pair of shoes is...
    Two pairs of shoes are...
    This pair of shoes is...
    These pairs of shoes are...

    When I saw the question below, I was quite puzzled because I'd never puzzled over this kind of matter. Help me, please.


    Question>
    _____ small for my son.
    a) These pairs of shoes looks
    b) This pairs of shoes looks
    c) These pair of shoes look
    d) This pair of shoes look

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    77
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: pair

    Quote Originally Posted by siruss View Post
    Shoes, pants, scissors, glasses,etc. are combined with pair.
    A pair of shoes, a pair of pants, a pair of scissors, a pair of glasses...

    All I know about agreement related to pair is following.

    Shoes are...
    A pair of shoes is...
    Two pairs of shoes are...
    This pair of shoes is...
    These pairs of shoes are...

    When I saw the question below, I was quite puzzled because I'd never puzzled over this kind of matter. Help me, please.


    Question>
    _____ small for my son.
    a) These pairs of shoes looks
    b) This pairs of shoes looks
    c) These pair of shoes look
    d) This pair of shoes look
    I am beginning to wonder if there is a typo here somewhere, because none of the listed choices feel quite right in the sentence as given. If "look" were substituted for "looks," (a) would sound right.

    Keep in mind that in these cases, the word "pair" becomes the subject of the sentence (see http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/sv_agr.htm), so making the substitution in (a) would mean that the plural subject "pairs" would take the plural verb "look" instead of the singular verb "looks."

    Since the word "this" is only used with singulars, and the word "these" is only used with plurals, both (b) and (c) are automatically incorrect and can be eliminated.

    That leaves (d), but to me (d) would feel much better if "looks" were substituted for "look." That way, a singular subject would be taking a singular verb.

    Can you provide any background on this question? Is it part of a standardized test of English?

    [not a teacher]

  3. #3
    albertino is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    845
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: pair

    Quote Originally Posted by siruss View Post
    Shoes, pants, scissors, glasses,etc. are combined with pair.
    A pair of shoes, a pair of pants, a pair of scissors, a pair of glasses...

    All I know about agreement related to pair is following.

    Shoes are...
    A pair of shoes is...
    Two pairs of shoes are...
    This pair of shoes is...
    These pairs of shoes are...

    When I saw the question below, I was quite puzzled because I'd never puzzled over this kind of matter. Help me, please.


    Question>
    _____ small for my son.
    a) These pairs of shoes looks
    b) This pairs of shoes looks
    c) These pair(s) of shoes look
    d) This pair of shoes looks
    Disclaimer: Do you mind I answer your question if I'm not a teacher?
    As you know, many things come in pairs in the world, for example:
    (i) two objects of the same size/shape are intended to be used together like shoes, earrings, gloves, etc., and
    (ii)a piece of clothing or a tool comprises two parts joining together like trousers, glasses, forceps, clippers and so on.
    Hence, the answer to you question is:
    the use of singular or plural verb after "pair of" depends on its preceding determiner. If the determiner is "this, a, every or each", the verb is usually singular. Otherwise, a plural verb is used. So, we would say,
    a) These pairs of shoes look small for my son, and
    b) This pair of shoes looks small for my son.
    c) A pair of glasses/jeans costs me $300.
    d) Every pair of eyes was fixed on him.

    Is it okay, guy?

Similar Threads

  1. usage of the phrase "a pair of"
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 25-Jun-2007, 16:08
  2. Is "a pair of nice shoes" OK?
    By Satoshi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-May-2006, 08:07
  3. pair , set, combination
    By manky in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-Feb-2006, 12:55
  4. Another pair of shoes ???
    By hookeba in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13-Jan-2006, 12:11
  5. Sentences with "a pair of"
    By jack in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-Dec-2004, 08:06

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •