Articles With Names of Tools

Some names of tools and instruments, such as pliers, scissors, tweezers, or tongs, only have a plural form. They don't take a/an because "a" is for one.

We commonly use a/an to introduce a specific tool for the first time. You can use "the" if the object has been previously mentioned or identified.

I found a hammer in the drawer. The hammer was made in Germany.

We also use a/an to talk about something in general.

A screwdriver can be used to repair mobile phones.

However, some names of tools and instruments, such as pliers, scissors, tweezers, tongs, or forceps only have a plural form. They don't take a/an because "a" is for one.

Do you have pliers?

Do you have a pliers?

Note that these objects consist of two parts. They are plural and cannot be used with a/an.

You can use scissors to cut his hair.

But you can use the definite article "the".

The tongs are on the table.

If you need to count these objects, use the expressions "a pair of", "two pairs of", "three pairs of", etc.

I need to buy two pairs of tweezers.

When referring to more than one example of these, you can also use other determiners for plural nouns, like some, any, both, etc.

I bought some pliers at the hardware store.

But omit the determiner to use these terms in a general sense.

Tongs are used for many things, including picking up small objects.

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