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Are Shorts Plural or Singular?

Shorts are a plural noun with no singular noun form because shorts are made of pairs.

Are “shorts” plural or singular?

Often referred to as a ‘pair of shorts,’ shorts is a plural noun with no singular noun form. In English, nouns and objects that are made up of parts, pairs or pieces are usually referred to only as a plural, and have no singular noun form.

Other plural-only noun examples include jeans, pants and binoculars.

Shorts: singular vs. plural

You might say ‘the left short‘. This is uncommon. For the most part, shorts are only referred to as a plural noun.

What are shorts?

Merriam-Webster defines shorts as:

Trousers that end above the knee or reach the knee, often worn in hot weather or when playing a sport: tennis shorts. “She put on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.

Plural-only nouns

Shorts are only referred to as a plural noun since shorts are made up of parts, or pieces. Likewise, these other nouns are exclusively-plural. In English, we call them the plural-only nouns, and just like they sound, they’re only referred to as a plural. See the list:

Plural-Only Nouns Chart
Plural-only/non-singular nouns, like shorts. By Gflex on Canva.

Examples of sentences with “shorts”

She put on a pair of red shorts.

The shorts didn’t fit him properly.

I need to buy some new pairs of shorts for the summer vacation.

He was wearing some old shorts and a grubby T-shirt.

I’ll look a right wally in these shorts!

Origin of the word shorts

From etymology online on shorts (n.):

“Middle English short, from Old English sceort, scort “of little length; not tall; of brief duration,” probably from Proto-Germanic *skurta-“.

What’re personal pronouns?

What’s the difference between they’re, their, and there?

Whose vs who’s?


  1. Definition of shorts.
  2. Sentences using shorts.
  3. Origin of shorts.

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