'A Shoes' or 'A Pair of Shoes': Which is Correct?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on February 27, 2023

If you’re new to learning English, you might be wondering whether to write ‘a shoes’ or ‘a pair of shoes.’ We’ll answer that in detail in this article, plus teach you how to use the correct one in a sentence. You’ll also learn how to pronounce the phrase correctly.

Need a quick answer? Here it is:

  • ‘A Pair of Shoes’ is the only correct way to mention shoes in plural form.
  • ‘A Shoes’ is ungrammatical and incorrect and should not be used in your writing in any circumstance.

Therefore, you should avoid using it and stick to ‘a pair of shoes.’ 

English Phrase – A Pair of Shoes

In the English language, we say ‘a pair of shoes’ versus ‘a shoes.’

However, when the word is singular, you can simply use the word ‘a’ in front of it.

  • For example, we’d say ‘a shoe’ instead of ‘a pair of shoe.’

So, if it’s singular, use ‘a shoe.’

If it’s plural, use ‘a pair of shoes.’

The same goes for scissors, pants, gloves, and mittens. Even glasses are called a pair (because they have two lenses).

Is It ‘A Shoes’ or ‘A Pair of Shoes’?

As you just learned, the correct way to write the phrase is ‘a pair of shoes’ and never ‘a shoes.’

Writing it any other way wouldn’t be grammatical.

Definition and Meaning of ‘A Pair of Shoes’

The definition of ‘shoes,’ according to Merriam-Webster, is an outer covering for the human foot that usually has a thick or stiff sole with an attached heel and an upper part of lighter material (like leather).

It can also refer to a dealing box that’s used to hold a few decks of playing cards, a device on a camera that allows attachment of an accessory, and various devices inserted in it or that run along a track or groove to guide a movement, provide contact or friction grip, or protect against wear, damage, or slipping.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘A Pair of Shoes’

Are you unsure of how to pronounce this phrase? Here’s a short guide.

To pronounce the phrase correctly, take a look at the phonetic spelling:


How to Use ‘A Pair of Shoes’ in a Sentence

Now that we know what the phrase means let’s see some examples of how to use them in a sentence.

  • I had to buy a pair of shoes for my organization’s meeting later today. I should have gotten a suit too.
  • I get a new pair of shoes every school year. It’s all my parents can afford.
  • As soon as I get paid, I’m getting a new pair of shoes. It’s been a while since I’ve treated myself.
  • I can’t choose which pair of shoes I want to wear. I probably have way too many pairs.
  • Did you see the new pair of shoes Delilah had on yesterday? I think I might want a pair.
  • I packed a few pairs of shoes to go with different outfits. I don’t want to be stuck wearing the same pair for the entire vacation.

Concluding Advice on ‘A Shoes’ and ‘A Pair of Shoes’

To recap, we learned the following:

  • ‘A Pair of Shoes’ is the only correct way to write this phrase, and it’s only used when referring to two shoes rather than one.
  • ‘A Shoes’ is incorrect and ungrammatical.

Therefore, you should avoid using it and stick to ‘a pair of shoes.’ 

If you ever get stuck, you can always come back to review what you learned. We’ve got a ton of content dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases you might see in your everyday life. Go check it out anytime you need to.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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