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'Revision' might be countable or uncountable. I am a little bit confused.

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This question can be a useful reference. –  Kris Jan 18 '12 at 6:05
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

When revision means a change, it can be countable, as in make a few revisions to a report.

When it means examining something so it can be changed, then it can be both: a system in need of revision AND a revision of standards.

Finally, when it means learning for an exam, it is always uncountable.

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ldoceonline.com/dictionary/revision –  Manjima Jan 17 '12 at 19:55
'Revisions of Standards' is a common expression referring to the several "revisions" published from time to time. Here it means published issues of revised standards. –  Kris Jan 18 '12 at 6:03
@Irene If learning for the exam meaning of revision is always uncountable how can I say that I have read a paper for exam more then once and pointed out on more then one? –  speedyGonzales Jan 18 '12 at 13:09
@speedyGonzales: You can say "It's advisable to do some revision before the exam" but not *"It's advisable to do a revision before the exam". –  Irene Jan 18 '12 at 13:57
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Like most derived nouns, revision can refer to a number of things. In the case of revise (the verb that revision is derived from), at least the following senses can be distinguished:

  1. Revision can refer to the process of revising: Some revision was necessary in Chapter 5.
  2. Revision can refer to 1 or more events of revising: There have been six revisions so far.
  3. Revision can refer to 1 or more products of revising : This is a revision; I want the original.

(2) and (3) can be combined: I have all six revisions in my collection.

Only in sense (1) is revision a mass noun; in the other two senses it's a count noun.

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+1 Agree with all the points. –  Kris Jan 18 '12 at 6:04
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Revision may be used plural e.g revisions; but singular form revision may also denote a set of changes. So, at least it is safe to use plural form if you are talking about several sets of "change(s)". E.g:

The plan underwent constant revisions.

On the other hand, with the meaning "study" or "review", you may use revision singular as in

I have to do some history revision tonight

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I see your first example as incorrect, with the following two forms preferable to it: "The plan underwent constant revision", "The plan underwent multiple revisions". –  jwpat7 Jan 17 '12 at 22:55
@jwpat, thank you. is this because of "constant"? As far as I know "constant" has a sense of "repeatedly". –  Mustafa Jan 18 '12 at 7:36
I am confused. Wold you check OED and longman –  Mustafa Jan 18 '12 at 7:58
As you note, OALD [which should not be indicated by "OED"] uses the word repeatedly, meaning recurring, within its definition of constant. To replace my previous comment, let me say that constant need not imply repeatedly, nor vice versa; ie we can have constancy with or without repetition and repetition with or without constancy. –  jwpat7 Jan 18 '12 at 9:04
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