You are here

'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




Hello, wanted to ask about third sentence. Why it is using "gets", as I understood the sentence time is present simple = -s ending only adds to he/she/it. Or it is some another rule for this expression?

And wonder about 6th sentence . Can I use instead of "this holiday" - these holidays. Or that would be incorrect?

Hello DiaLuna,

In 3, 'gets' is indeed the verb in a third-person singular form, which means that the answer, i.e. the subject of the verb, must be 'one'. This third-person singular form is used not only with the subjects 'it', 'she' and 'he' - it is used with any singular subject that is not 'I' or 'you'.

In 6, you could say 'these holidays' if you were referring to more than one holiday. If you did this, then the answer would of course be 'ones' instead of 'one'.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

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!!!