"El pantalón es amarillo. " Translation: The pants are yellow.
The above sentence should be deleted from the course material. For one thing, the translation is incorrect, and it has caused mass confusion.
The correct translation for "the pants are yellow" is "Los pantalones son amarillos". "Es" means 'is', not 'are'. 'Pantalon' is rarely used - it is almost always 'pantalones'.
If you really want to use the singular form for some reason, the correct translation of "el pantalon es amarillo" is : "the PAIR of pants is yellow" (or "the PAIR of trousers is yellow")
A singular subject must have a verb that agrees, and likewise with a plural subject.
For the sake of the sanity of your users, I recommend deleting this sentence entirely. Thank you. ,
I disagree. The sentence in Spanish talks about a "pair of pants", I think the normal way of saying it in English is simply "pants". The exercise shows that a Spanish sentence in singular can be plural in English, it is idiomatic. It is the same for "tijera(s)" - "scissors" and "calzón(es)" - "(under)pants".
People tend to find it confusing and think it must be a mistake, but it is not and offers an important lesson that often what is singular in one language can be plural in another.
According to this, the singular pantalón has the same meaning as the plural "U. t. en pl. con el mismo significado que en sing."
In English, a pair of pants and pants also have the same meaning (at least in the USA- trousers in the UK). The singular pant is never used as far as I know so it seems to me that el pantalón and pantalones are both acceptable translations for pants or trousers.
Other examples off the top of my head la gente es = people are, the vacation = las vacaciones. Here is a link to a few more (ninguno/any tend to be confusing in the reverse tree):
And there used to be a type of pants (trousers) called knickers in the US. A friend of mine discovered this went he told a woman he had been dating for a short period of time that he would like to see the knickers she'd recently bought. She was a bit shocked until they figured out the misunderstanding.
Take a look at the note at the top of this definition of "pantalón": http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/pantal%C3%B3n.
Incidentally, if you type "pantalones" into the SpanishDict search function, what comes up is the definition for "pantalón." Evidently SpanishDict regards "pantalón" as the base word, rather than one that has been incorrectly truncated.