Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I know that document is an uncountable noun.

But I see some people write

A lot of documents were found.

Which is correct?

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by Jasper Loy, Matt Эллен, MrHen, Daniel, kiamlaluno Nov 7 '11 at 19:48

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

For that sentence, documents is the obvious choice.

A lot of document were found.

The above is incorrect; were is for a pluralized noun. As well, a lot of can only be used in front of a pluralized noun. For it to be proper English, you must pluralize documents.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Rather than being an uncountable noun, document is indeed countable. It is used as an example of a countable noun in keio.ac.jp/~hjb/countable.uncountable.html and in 1-language.com/englishcourse. Thus "A lot of documents were found" exhibits correct grammar, although some English teachers frown upon "A lot of" and would recommend "Many documents were found" instead.

share|improve this answer
    
Perhaps the OP was thinking of documentation rather than document. –  Peter Mortensen Nov 4 '11 at 8:25
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.