Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 4 weeks ago

Is it okay to use "shoes" as singular?

I don't like saying "a pair of shoes", I feel like just "shoes" is convenient and better. Since language evolve with usage, I think it'd be great if we start saying shoes as one thing to get the dictionaries to accept it. What do you think?

20 Answers

  • Linda
    Lv 5
    3 weeks ago

    I agree with you. Pair of shoes sounds stuffy.

  • 3 weeks ago


  • ron h
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    underwear  and pants are crazier than shoes.  I have on underwear, but it's just one piece.  But it's a "pair of underwear.  But if I was going to do something athletic, I'd just wear one jock strap. And one piece of pants is a pair of pants / slacks/ trousers. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    Of course. If I am putting on my footwear to go out, and my friend asks me when I'll be ready, I answer that I'm just '...putting on my shoes.' I don't say I am putting on 'a pair' of shoes. Obviously, I am going out with two shoes on my two feet, so saying 'a pair' is almost redundant. In like manner, if I go into a shoe store, I tell the clerk I need new shoes. It is not necessary to say I need a 'new pair,' because I'm obviously there to buy more than one shoe!

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Fine here in UK

  • John P
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Indeed for many decades people have been saying: "I'm going to buy shoes" when somebody has asked them where they are going.

  • 4 weeks ago

    No, because 'shoes' is plural. You don't have to always say 'a pair of shoes'. Sometimes you can just say shoes. You only need to use the word pair if you want to be specific about how many shoes you're talking about. I bought a pair of shoes today. If you said 'I bought shoes today' then the person you're talking to doesn't know how many shoes you bought. Maybe you bought four shoes. Maybe they weren't pairs of shoes. Maybe, for some odd reason, you bought four individual shoes that are not in pairs. You could say 'I bought a matched set of shoes today', but in English a matched set of two is commonly known as 'a pair'.

    If you say 'I put on running shoes' then we know you put on two of them unless you happen to have three feet.

  • 4 weeks ago

    People have been talking about 'shoes', meaning 'a pair of shoes', for ever.

    As most people have two feet, it's a fair assumption that shoes come in pairs. We don't always say 'a pair of jeans' or 'a pair of glasses' either; we just say 'Hey, where are my dark grey jeans?' and we all understand you mean one single item. Or we say 'I think I need new glasses' and we naturally assume you're going to buy one pair.

    Of course you can't use 'shoes' if you're talking about ONE shoe, though.

    'Oh no, the strap on my left shoes is broken' - I don't think so! Obviously you would say 'on my left SHOE'.

  • 4 weeks ago

    It sounds like you haven't figured out that the world doesn't revolve around you is what I think.

  • Bill
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    As one thing? You mean like "a shoes"? It's always been okay to just say "shoes".

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