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01 / 10 / 2009

PANTS vs TROUSERS-2: meaning and examples

Good morning everyone.

Today we finish answering Francesca Facchini's question about pants and trousers:

Si en castellano digo "un par de pantalones",  quiero decir dos pantalones. Si quiero uno solo, diré "un pantalon". Is it the same in English? Thanks 

In English we say trousers/pants or a pair of trousers/pants to mean one garment (una prenda). If we want to indicate exactly how many, we would include a number, for example "two pairs of trousers".

Example 1:
Mom. It's really cold this year. Can you buy me a pair of wool trousers?

Example 2:
I don't like wearing trousers when it's hot. I prefer to wear shorts.

I spoke with several native speakers of Spanish, and there doesn't seem to be complete agreement. Some said that "un par de pantalones" is one garment and some said that it was two. Some said that it was ambiguous (it could be either, depending on the context). And finally, some said that they never use "un pantalón" to mean one pair of trousers.

In English, a pair of trousers/pants is always one garment.

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Enjoy the rest of your day.