Translation:How many pairs of shoes do you have?
The meaning is "how many pairs of shoes do you have" because 双 is a measure word for pair.
Agreed. Both answers should be considered correct. Frustrating that I've run into a lot of instances like this.
So if I have four shoes is the abswer to the Chinese question 2 (pairs) or 4 (shoes)? Because the answer to the given English translation is definitely 4.
literal translation 'How many pairs of shoes do you have? ' Inconsistency is a real problem.
No, it is just regional and depends on the style of speaking or writing. And not every monosyllabic word sounds as natural as its 子-suffixed counterpart.