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
add comment

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.

2 Answers

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.