From Teflpedia
Various items of clothing - t-shirts, skirts, sweaters and hats - for sale in Hong Kong.

Clothes (/ˈkləʊðz/) is an English word.

Meaning[edit | edit source]

The noun meaning of clothes is "items of clothing"[1]

Form[edit | edit source]

Clothes is the most common uncountable plural found in English. Because of this, it seems to confuse learners and is best learnt as a special case.

Clothes words form a thematic set that can be learnt as part of a lesson theme

Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Clothes is carefully pronounced /ˈkləʊðz/, a monosyllable with the plural -s pronounced /z/ because it comes after a non-sibilant voiced consonant, specifically a voiced dental fricative /ð/. However, this /ð/ is often elided in rapid speech, so it becomes /ˈkləʊz/ which is a homophone with the verb "close".

EFL learners who struggle with the /ð/ phoneme may attempt to substitute /ð/ with /z/ (th-alveolarisation) and may then assume that the plural -s marker is pronounced /ɪz/, as it would be after /z/, and say */ˈkləʊzɪz/ (disyllabic and a homophone with closes). It’s probably best to not worry about the optional /ð/ and recommend learners pronounce it monosyllabically /ˈkləʊz/.

Pedagogy[edit | edit source]

Basic clothes words are generally learnt at elementary level. It’s possible to use clothes as realia.

References[edit | edit source]