Are you unsure of when to say clothes vs cloths? Don’t worry – it’s easy to explain which one you need to use when.
The word clothes, with the 'e' in it, means garments that can be worn. For example, pants, a shirt, dress, skirt, sweater, or jacket: all of those are examples of clothes.
If you’re talking about something that you or someone else can wear, then you need to use the word clothes.
The word cloths means pieces of fabric. You can have one piece of cloth (a cloth), or many pieces of clothe (cloths). So the word cloths just means pieces of fabric or material.
Cloths are often used for cleaning, or cloths can be used as samples to show how a fabric would look (e.g. samples of material would be an example of cloths).
Cloths are NOT used to describe what someone is wearing.
In everyday life, cloths is not used frequently. The word clothes is used much more often.
How to know which one you should use
- If you are talking about items that someone can wear, then you should use the word clothes.
- If you are talking about fabric samples, or material you can clean with, then you should use the word cloths.
- The easiest test is to ask yourself if it is something that is ready to be worn by someone. If so, you mean clothes. If not, you mean cloths.
That’s it! Now you know how and when to use clothes vs cloths.
If you'd like to learn some more useful tips and tricks with words, you'll also like our articles about alternative words for "however" and alternative words for "for example". Both of these ideas are particularly helpful when writing essays, technical documentation, and more.