Can You Say 'a Clothe' or 'a Cloth'?

It's incorrect to say "a clothe". The word clothes is always used in a plural form, so you cannot use "a" with it.

It's incorrect to say "a clothe". Since the word clothes is a plural noun, it cannot be used with the article "a".

I have to buy some clothes.

I have to buy a clothe.

There's no singular form of "clothes". The word cloth has a different meaning. "Cloth" means fabric or woven/knitted material (cotton, nylon, wool, etc.), which can be used for making clothes.

The shirt is made from cloth of the highest quality.

A cloth is also a piece of fabric that we commonly use for dusting or cleaning. The plural form of this noun is cloths (not clothes).

You can use a cloth to wipe the table.

Words like clothes don't take the article a/an; however, you can use a determiner for plural nouns (some, these, the, etc.) to identify the noun.

The clothes are great.

These clothes are designed for special customers.

To talk about an individual item, you can say:

  • A garment. (Quite formal.)
  • A piece of clothing. (It's a common and well-accepted expression, particularly in written English.)
  • An article of clothing. (It's also frequently used in written English.)
  • Naming the piece of clothing you are talking about (e.g., shirt, jacket, etc.) (The most popular choice in everyday English.)

I bought a T-shirt three weeks ago.

When using the noun "clothes" in a general sense, we omit the determiner.

Why are clothes so expensive?

Being a plural noun, "clothes" is always followed by a plural form of a verb, so we say "clothes are", not "clothes is".

The clothes are dirty.

The clothes is dirty.

The following nouns are also used in a plural form, and therefore do not take the article "a":

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