Can "pros" or "cons" be used in isolation?

EdisonBhola

Senior Member
Korean
Hi all, whenever I see the words "pros" and "cons", they exist together, i.e. "pros and cons". My query is, do native speakers ever use one without the other? For example:

"The pro of quitting smoking is that the chance of having lung cancer will be greatly reduced."
"The cons of smoking include bad breath and increased chances of lung cancer."

Thank you very much!
 
  • EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    It is more usual to keep each term in the plural when used on its own.
    But what if there is just one advantage or disadvantage? I agree with you because I don't think I've ever seen people write just "pro" or "con", but usually "pros" or "cons".

    In other words, it's correct to write "The pro is..." and "The con is..." to mean "The advantage is..." and "The disadvantage is...", respectively?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I would not say either 'the pro' or 'the con' (singular) without some preparation in the earlier context.
     
    Last edited:

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Is this acceptable?

    "There are many cons to smoking. The most serious con is the development of lung cancer."
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It is understandable. I would not choose it myself.
    Personally, I would not want to use even the plural 'cons' on its own in writing such a sentence.
    In conversation, I would probably still avoid it, unless someone else had introduced it.
     
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