What about "I need a pair of hats"? Would that be too "direct" or fixated on non-cognate of a translation (from "ein Paar")? Or does it indeed work? Is the right meaning still captured?
ein paar = a few
ein Paar = a pair
(Although I don't know what a pair of hats would look like TBH.)
Ahhh, glad you mentioned that. I had never realized there was a difference between the two, and I was actually wondering why this example hadn't capitalized the "paar" in the sentence. It all makes sense now! Thanks!
Why not just, "Ich brauche paar Hüte"
Because you can't use "paar" by itself like that - it's "ein paar".
Much as in English, you cannot say "I have couple of hats" or "I have lot of hats" - it has to be "a couple of hats", "a lot of hats".