Cloth versus Clothes

What is the Difference Between Cloth and Clothes?


When to Use Cloth

Cloth, a noun, is a length of fabric used to make garments, blankets, and other items. It can be made of natural fibers, like cotton and wool, or synthetic fibers, like polyester or rayon.

Here are some examples,

  • Kimmy asked Arianna to buy her 32 yards of cloth for her next project.
  • Some cars have cloth-covered seats, while other cars have leather-covered seats.

    Cloth is also an expression that refers to clergy, like in this sentence,

  • Father Timmy was a man of the cloth, and abstained from partaking in champagne on New Year’s Eve.

    When to Use Clothes

    The word clothes is also a noun, but it can also be a present tense verb.

    As a noun, clothes are garments worn to cover the body.

    For example,

  • My daughter Dana needs new clothes for school every fall because she grows so quickly.
  • The old beggar’s clothes were ragged, and had worn thin in places.

    As a verb, clothes is the third person present tense form of the verb to clothe, which means to provide someone with garments or to dress someone.

    For example,

  • The wealthy single mom who lives next door clothes her children with only the most fashionable of name brands.

    Summary

    Is it cloth or clothes? Clothes and cloth are both nouns, but only clothes is a verb.

    Clothes are garments worn to cover the body.

    Cloth is the fabric used to make garments and other items.

    As a verb, clothes is the third person present tense of the verb clothe.


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