Was vs Were


While a 'pair of glasses' is a single item, it is describe with TWO plurals. So which is correct?

A pair of glasses was perched on her nose.

A pair of glasses were perched on her nose.

asked Apr 14 '12 at 18:49 Tony Proano Expert

1 answer


pair is a singular noun.  Pairs is the plural of pair. 


A pair of glasses was perched on her nose.

Pairs of glasses were on display.


If you put a number in front of pair, then you don't add the s though it is still plural.

Three pair of glasses were on display.


The same holds true for trio, quartet, dozen, hundred, thousand, etc.

link answered Apr 14 '12 at 19:10 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Of course, you are correct 'a pair' is singular, but the mental imagery it conveys is of TWO objects, which is what I meant by described with two plurals... not correct on my part, but at least I knew what I meant (even if I didn't say it very well).

Tony ProanoApr 14 '12 at 21:16

I knew what you meant, Tony. It is a good question for discussion because it seems like a plural word.

Patty TApr 14 '12 at 22:04

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