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I was wondering if we can use the word "luxury" to refer to a "luxurious item",

For example, are the sentences below considered grammatical? :

  1. I have a luxury.

  2. I have one luxury.

  3. I have three luxuries.

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No, you cannot. But, for example, you can say "I have two luxury Porshe" or "I love the luxury". –  user19148 Mar 27 '12 at 20:41
    
"[blah-blah] are no longer luxuries but necessities today". "These are the couple of luxuries I allow myself once in a while". So, you have the usage there, though one luxury or two luxuries on a standalone basis would sound clearly awkward. –  Kris Mar 28 '12 at 7:07

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Luxury is an abstract object, but it can be countable, and you can use it to refer to a certain luxurious item. All the sentences you have in the question are grammatical. You can say "the divan is a luxury", or "I have the luxury of a Corvette" even "I have a luxury" (properly explained with context); but luxury by itself doesn't mean anything specifically physical.

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I must disagree with the comment implying luxury can't be used as in OP's three examples. This NGram for "one luxury is" returns nearly 3000 results, most of which treat a "luxury" as a countable noun.

I don't much like OP's first example, but we don't really have much context, and I certainly don't dispute it on grammatical grounds. The others seem unremarkable to me - here are many written instances of "had two luxuries", for example.

One luxury I allow myself on ELU is disputing unsubstantiable statements. Another is using words like unsubstantiable (incapable of being substantiated), despite my browser spell-checker objecting!

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+1. Desert Island Discs, anyone? –  Andrew Leach Mar 27 '12 at 22:17
    
@Andrew Leach: Jinx! I actually Googled "Desert Island Discs" luxury when writing this, hoping presenters Roy Plomley, Michael Parkinson, Sue Lawley, or Kirsty Young might be in the habit of asking "...and what luxury have you chosen?". It turns out they invariably say "luxury item", but Google Books shows many of us are a bit "looser" in our phrasing. –  FumbleFingers Mar 27 '12 at 22:22
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Let's take an example: "His one luxury is tobacco". That's not concrete. Countable doesn't mean concrete. –  Daniel Mar 27 '12 at 22:23
    
@Daniel: By concrete/countable, I mean concrete and/or countable as distinguished from abstract and/or uncountable nouns which can't normally by preceded by an article (I almost hate to say it, but being slightly loose with syntax/terminology is another luxury I allow myself here on ELU sometimes! :) –  FumbleFingers Mar 27 '12 at 22:29
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I don't need money; family and friends are my two luxuries. –  David Schwartz Mar 28 '12 at 10:16

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