a big pair of sunglasses/a pair of big sunglasses

brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
1. Jack has got a big pair of sunglasses.

2. Jack has got a pair of big sunglasses.


(by me)

I wonder if both of the sentences above are correct.

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "(Pair of) sunglasses" is the name of the object, so I would use the first of your versions. "Big" modifies the whole phrase "pair of sunglasses".

    (crossposted)
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Whereas I have a preference for "pair of big sunglasses", because it's the sunglasses that are big. Much the same as the pair of long trousers I got when I was 10, the pairs of short trousers I wore when I was younger, and a pair of blunt scissors that won't cut paper ...

    A pair is always two, and it doesn't change size.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Big" modifies the whole thing:

    A big pair of blunt scissors.
    A big pair of long trousers.
    A big pair of sunglasses.

    I'm not saying you can't use "a pair of big sunglasses".

    Of course, you can just omit "pair of": He's got (some) big sunglasses. :)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Whereas I have a preference for "pair of big sunglasses", because it's the sunglasses that are big.
    "The pair of sunglasses" and "the sunglasses" refer to the same thing.
    If your long trousers are too long, do you have a long pair of long trousers or a pair of long long trousers?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "The pair of sunglasses" and "the sunglasses" refer to the same thing.
    If your long trousers are too long, do you have a long pair of long trousers or a pair of long long trousers?
    I am perfectly well aware that "the pair of sunglasses" and "the sunglasses" refer to the same thing. I prefer one way of describing large sunglasses. I have not suggested that the other way is wrong. Indeed, I made it perfectly clear that I consider both to be correct.

    If I have a problem with trouser length I'll express it in the way I prefer on the day. That's likely to be "these trousers are too long" - I would have no need to use the word "pair" or to specify that they are long trousers rather than short trousers. There's no point asking me if I would talk of having a long pair of long trousers or a pair of long long trousers, because I would say neither.
     
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