how can you count 'clothes'? can I use 2 clothes?

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asked Oct 27 '11 at 01:14 Sunjoo Park New member

2 answers


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You cannot count "clothes" in English.  Although the word looks like a plural (and it does take a plural form of the verb), it is never used in a singular form.  If you ever see the word "clothe", it's a verb.  If you ever see "cloth", it's either something to wipe with (plural: "cloths"), or it means "material" (uncountable).

 

So, how can you count "clothes"?  You could say "pieces of clothing", but this is very unusual.  I don't think I would often say "There are seven pieces of clothing in my wardrobe.", although this is grammatically fine - it just sounds a bit weird.  

 

I think the best thing to do is either to say "a lot of clothes" or "some clothes" or  " a pile of clothes", or change to "six shirts", "four socks", "two pairs of pants/trousers".

link comment answered Oct 27 '11 at 07:05 Agreeonpurpose Contributor
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You can have a set of clothes, a lot of clothes, a pile of clothes, some clothes.  The word clothes by itself is uncountable, and it is used as a plural as far as using verbs is concerned, but you really cannot use the word without some adjective unless it is a subject noun or part of a prepositional phrase.

link comment answered Mar 28 '12 at 10:32 Courtney Contributor

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