WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
pants - shorts
In British English, pants are a piece of clothing worn by men, women, or children under their other clothes. Pants have two holes to put your legs through and elastic round the waist or hips to keep them up.
Men's pants are sometimes referred to as underpants. Women's pants are sometimes referred to as panties or knickers.
In American English, a piece of clothing like this for men is usually referred to as shorts or underpants. For women, they are usually called panties.
In American English, the word pants is used to refer to men's or women's trousers.
He wore brown corduroy pants and a white cotton shirt.
In both British and American English, shorts are also trousers with very short legs that people wear in hot weather or for taking part in sports.
I usually wear shorts and a T-shirt when I play tennis.
Both pants and shorts are plural nouns. You use a plural form of a verb with them.
The pants were white with a lace trim.
His grey shorts were far too big.
Be careful
Don't say ‘a pants’ or ‘a shorts’. You can say a pair of pants or a pair of shorts.
It doesn't take long to choose a pair of pants.
He is wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.
You use a singular form of a verb with a pair of pants or a pair of shorts.
Why is this pair of pants on the floor?
WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
short - shortly - briefly
‘short’
Short is an adjective. You usually use it to say that something does not last for a long time.
Let's take a short break.
She made a short speech.
‘shortly’
Shortly is an adverb. If something is going to happen shortly, it is going to happen soon. This is a slightly old-fashioned use.
They should be returning shortly.
If something happened shortly after something else, it happened soon after it.
She died shortly afterwards.
Very shortly after I started my job, I got promoted.
‘briefly’
Don't use ‘shortly’ to say that something lasts or is done for a short time. Don't say, for example, ‘She told them shortly what had happened’. Use briefly.
She told them briefly what had happened.
'shorts' also found in these entries:
pants - the - wear
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