The real question is why in english is pants plural. What is a pant, it isn't the pant leg, it must come from the manufacturing process where you make both halves and sew them together.
Is this the way to say "pants" even though it translates literally to "a new pant"?
In english = you wear pants, plural, even you only have "one"
In french = un pantalon, singular, because you wear only one.
In english you wear "a pair of pants" which gets shortened to "pants" just like you wear "a pair of shoes" which gets shortened to "shoes". You can wear one shoe, although i guess you can't just wear one "pant".
However, you can have one pant in English, like "My pant cuff is ripped" which refers to only one of the pants.
So in french, I guess un pantalon is equivalent to "a pair of pants" and not just "pants"?
It funny how small stuff can seperate two neighbouring cultures :-)
To make it short, we call "un pantalon", tht whole thing we wear on our legs. I have a hard time seeing how I could be more specific because I don't know the expression "My pant cuff is ripped". You wear "un pantalon" in french. So I guess you're right, a pair of pants is closer to "pantalon".
Thanks for your explanation. Its the small stuff that makes learning languages difficult!
You're very welcome. That's the beauty of a feature such as duolingo : communication to better communicate.
In French I think a "pant cuff" would be "une jambe de pantalon" (one leg). The English singular form of "pant" is not used as a stand-alone in your example.
In French, un pantalon is a whole piece of clothing, like a sweater (2 arms / 2 legs), like "un pyjama" which is the whole outfit (top+bottom), when again the English use a plural (pyjamas).
The opposite case also exists: my hair = mes cheveux (ma chevelure exists but is nearly never used).
In English it is called a pant leg as well, a pant cuff is what you call the little bit that's thicker at the end if it's rolled up a little because you want them to be shorter or whatever.
Also, I suppose I never thought of what the singular of hair would be in french, but I'm glad to know it know. Chevelure is quite nice; I like it. :)
In English there is a silly joke that makes my kids laugh: "I got my hair cut" "Why didn't you get them all cut?" I guess it must not translate to French.
A question about the article. I thought that when you use "un," it's about something in particular, hence, you cannot drop it when translating from French to English (although I do know that "She has a new pants" would sound awkward). Should it be "du" or "le" instead of "un," or do you really just drop it because it sounds weird in normal English? Or is there some other grammar rule I have overlooked?
The problem comes from the word "pants" I think. As it has been said elsewhere I think, you could say "She has a new pair of pants". Maybe that makes more sense for you in that you. What is sure is that in French you could not say "Elle a nouveau pantalon". You need an article, either it's "un nouveau pantalon" or "des nouveaux pantalons" if it's plural.
Therefore, there are cases wherein the "un/e" can be dropped as well to make way for a more natural English sentence? You said that it can be "un nouveau pantalon." Can it also be "le nouveau pantalon"? Those would mean 2 different things for French (the first is specific, while the latter is general), but they translate to the same thing in English, since you can drop the article (though admittedly, specificity would become ambiguous). Is that correct? :o
"Le" is quite specific actually. I don't see why I would say "Elle a acheté le nouveau pantalon". Does make sense, but it's like the pants are "chosen", you know, like very important. And i'm not sure they would translate the same way in english either. I think you only drop the article when in french you have "de(s)".
Oh, so it's "de(s)," Sorry, my bad. x_x It's just that there were instances in the past lessons wherein the article was dropped for the le/la/les articles, and now for the "un." It's quite confusing, so I'm currently just following the rule "if it sounds wrong, then make it sound right" when translating. :)) Thank you for your help!