English nouns that only have a plural

English nouns that only have a plural

In this complete tutorial for beginners’ learners are going to learn English

nouns that only have a plural. They exist only in the plural and these do not have a singular form. We use them with plural verbs and plural pronouns;

for example: My trousers are dirty. I need to wash them.

We cannot use them with numbers.

There are 3 types of nouns where the form is always plural:

  1. Certain articles of clothing.
  2. Certain tools or instruments.
  3. Other types.

Let’s look at each type in detail.

Certain articles of clothing 

So, not all types of clothing but just certain articles.

For examples:

trousers – is always in the plural form, we never say “trouser”

pajamas – so this is what we wear in bed, even if we’re only talking about

one unit even if it is in singular, it could be in a singular meaning but the form is always plural.

tights          shorts         boxers

jeans          panties       briefs

I like your pajamas. ü            Where are my boxers?ü

I like your pajama. X              Where are my boxer?    X

                                                Where is my boxer? X

Certain Tools or instruments

sunglasses          glasses      headphones        tweezers

binoculars            scissors      tongs 

Can I borrow your scissors?ü

Can I borrow your scissor? X

Where did you buy your binoculars?ü

Where did you buy your binocular? X

1. Certain articles of clothing                 2. Certain tools and instruments

trousers          pajamas                                 sunglasses    glasses

tights              shorts                                     binoculars     scissors

jeans              panties                                   headphones tweezers

briefs              boxers                                    tongs            pliers

Because the above examples have two parts, we can refer to them as “pair of” or “pairs of” + noun to quantify them.


I need a new pair of glasses.ü                 I only have one pair of trousers.ü

I need a new pair of glass. X                     I only have one trouser. X

I need a new glasses. X                             I only have one trousers. X

Now we have a similar rule for plural of these words, if we want to describe several units or the plural then we say “pairs of” + noun, so it’s the same, but this time we put the word pair in the plural form and a noun is also in the plural form.


I’d like to buy 2 pairs of jeans.ü

I’d like to buy 2 jeans. X

Here are lots of pairs of tights.

Other nouns with only a plural form

  • clothes, belongings           
  • earnings, savings
  • thanks, congratulations
  • premises, surroundings
  • savings

In these example sentences notice the use of plural verbs and plural pronouns:

  • Make sure your belongings are properly checked before you leave them in.
  • Her thanks were clearly sincere.
  • If your clothes are crumpled you can iron them upstairs.
  • The outskirts of Chiangmai are really pretty and they stretch for miles.


Choose the appropriate word to complete the sentence.

1. I lost my scissors. Have you seen _______?

          a. it

          b. them

2. _______ your belongings?

          a. Is that

          b. Are those

3. I need a _______ glasses to protect my eyes.

          a. pair of

          b. couple of

4. Her clothes _______ you really well.

          a. fit

          b. fits

Downloadable Material

Here’s the downloadable material of Tutorial on English Nouns that only have a plural  here.

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