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'one' and 'ones'

Level: beginner

We use one (singular) and ones (plural):

See those two girls? Helen is the tall one and Jane is the short one.
Which is your car, the red one or the blue one?
My trousers are torn. I need some new ones.

See those two girls? Helen is the one on the left.
Let's look at the photographs – the ones you took in Paris.

after which in questions:

You can borrow a book. Which one do you want?
Which ones are yours?

one and ones 1


one and ones 2




Please explain this point: If we have 6 pens and I want to ask "which one of these pens are red? Should I use plural noun and verb like "these pens " and "are"?or use singular N and V and ask "which one of this pen is red?" and also if instead of pen we have pants which form of question should be used?
Best Wishes

Hello shadyar,

In the case of pens, the correct sentence is 'Which one of these pens is red?'. The singular verb 'is' is used because it is essentially a question about one pen ('which one'), i.e. one pen among many.

'pants' is grammatically plural, whether it refers to one item of clothing or many. Since it can be ambiguous, we often speak about 'a pair of pants' to refer to one item of clothing - note that since 'pair' is grammatically singular, singular verbs are used. So you could say 'Which pants are red?' or 'Which pair of pants is red?'

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

in the sentence number 4: why we used this and that? while we are don't know if the other thing near to us or not?

Hello islam imbabi,

'this' and 'that' are often used together like this to distinguish two options. Sometimes 'this' indicates an object that is closer and 'that' one that is more distant, but in many cases 'this' and 'that' are just used to distinguish between the two objects or options.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

actually i less undestanding about explanation above. Could you more describe it clearly?

Hello ayu pertiwi sutrisno,

I'm not sure which part of the explanation is confusing for you. 'One' and 'ones' are used to avoid using the same noun twice in a sentence or group of sentences:

I have a blue book and a red book.

I have a blue book and a red one.

I have four dogs: two big dogs and two small dogs.

I have four dogs: two big ones and two small ones.

Can you pass me the cup, please?

Sure. The red cup or the blue cup?

Sure. The red one or the blue one?

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

great! 100-100 it is easy to understand it

Hey Team!

I have a doubt.

In 5th Sentence,it is mentioned like I need some new glasses. The ones i have at the moment are broken.

Here how come Glasses refers to Spectacles. I dint get the point actually which i read from Comments. Glasses may refer to any one of the objects which made of Glass. Am i right?

Kindly Clarify!!!

Hi Clarrie,

As you can see in the entry for glasses in our dictionary (see the right side of the screen where it say Cambridge Dictionaries Online), glasses is another way of saying spectacles. In fact, spectacles is not often used in modern British or American English - glasses is what people typically say.

The word glasses could also refer to two or more of the containers that we drink out of, but as far as I know, is not generally used to refer to items made of glass in general.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

I have got a question...
When I was reading materials, there is written we use 'ones' with plural and I am not sure in exercise on 5th task. There is noun glasses, we understand it as ' two lenses in a frame that rests on the nose and ears. People wear glasses in order to be able to see better or to protect their eyes from bright light' by oxford dictionary definition... so it sounds like it's one object, but of course forms of this noun looks as it's in plural... there are other such nouns (information, etc...)

I need some new glasses. The one I have at the moment are broken. - this is what I wrote in exercise above. It is wrong... why? Does it mean this what rests on our noses or glasses like container made of glass for drinking out of? Do we count such plural nouns such as glasses, information as one or more in sentences when we use the verb 'to be' (is, are)... it's only about form that there is plural form 'it ends with 's, es', so we will use ones?

thank you very much for appropriate answers