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Can I say "I have some apprehensions"? Or it should always be in singular.

For example,

"He seems to be able to walk now, but I have some apprehensions that he can faint at any time"

Google search gives me both, but I am not sure if both of them are correct.

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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'd only use apprehensions if there was more than one reason I was apprehensive.

I'm not sure I want my daughters to go camping this weekend. The weather is supposed to be terrible, I'm not sure their old enough to handle a weekend by themselves, and there's been a rash of crime at the park. Besides, they're exhausted from swim practices all week – I have several apprehensions about this trip.

Such a usage would be rare, however. I'd usually be inclined to group all those worries and concerns together, and say, "I have much apprehension about this trip."

FWIW, a half-century search in Google books returned less than a dozen results.

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There's no real reason to use the singular. "I have apprehensions" is actually more common than "I have an apprehension", according to Google Ngrams. People just don't always put in the unnecessary determiner "some". –  Peter Shor Aug 14 '12 at 12:14
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Neither of those sounds normal. Usually you just say that you’re apprehensive about something.

Otherwise, use the plural not the singular, and say you have some apprehensions.

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And I'd say, "that he could faint at any time." meaning it's a possibility whereas "can faint" implies a capability. –  Jim Aug 14 '12 at 5:07
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@Jim Or may or might, depending. –  tchrist Aug 14 '12 at 5:09
    
@tchrist- Agreed. –  Jim Aug 14 '12 at 5:10
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Generally you'd probably use a different word, perhaps "concerned" or "worried." And "can faint" should be "could faint". We're not expressing that he is able to faint, but rather that he might faint.

So I'd say, "He seems to be able to walk now, but I'm concerned that he could faint at any time."

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Thanks, Bob!!!! –  brilliant Aug 14 '12 at 14:17
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How about something less clinical. For example, "He recovered well enough to start walking again. Every early step he took made me tremble with fear he may fall. Outwardly I smiled uncomfortably, acknowledging his progress."

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I like it!!!!!! –  brilliant Aug 14 '12 at 14:16
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