Tagged Questions

Questions about uncountable (non-count, mass) nouns

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

-1
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the appropriate usage of “attentions”?

I recently wondered what the difference between attention and attentions was, as I've heard both, but couldn't think of or remember when someone would use attentions. One definition for attentions ...
11
votes
3answers
730 views

Count vs. mass — where can you look this up?

Most dictionaries don't say whether a noun is count vs. mass. Short of asking a fluent English speaker, where can you get this kind of information? I've tried asking various other ESL/EFL people I ...
1
vote
2answers
910 views

Verb agreement of “heaps”/“lots”: uncountable nouns

I am a non-native English speaker and I recently started noticing that most people do not do the correct agreement of the verb with the noun when saying "there is"/"there was"/"here is". They say, for ...
1
vote
2answers
438 views

When can you pluralize uncountable nouns?

I have a two part question, the second depending on the answer of the first. I don't know if that is frowned upon, but I'm not sure how else to ask. Foil is an uncountable noun so it is not ...
11
votes
3answers
324 views

Difference in usage of “rock” and “rocks”

Recently, I came across this situation where I was asked which one was correct: Fossils are found in sedimentary rock. Fossils are found in sedimentary rocks. Is there is distinction ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Usage of English definite article when referring to generic word

My mother language does not have articles, so I still struggle to choose when to use the indefinte and definite article. The other day, I learned: "The dog is an animal" is acceptable. "The iron is ...
1
vote
1answer
8k views

Can the word “personnel” ever be singular? [closed]

Can personnel be used in reference to a single person? See the example below: Testing must take place by a qualified personnel other than the requestor.
0
votes
2answers
110 views

“Censorship” as a countable noun [closed]

Is censorships a legitimate word? Obviously it could be used to mean multiple censorships for something.
-1
votes
3answers
213 views

Can “network” be a mass noun?

I stumbled upon a video having this phrase in its narration, "[The university] has been equipped with computer network, electric systems, and internet". Personally, I never use "network" as a mass ...
2
votes
2answers
569 views

Does the sentence “I recycle a paper” make sense?

Could the following sentence make sense? I recycle a paper. It's from one of the school English exam's answers, and we're arguing about giving the whole point or half point. The teachers have ...
1
vote
3answers
175 views

Usage of uncountable nouns [closed]

Which option is correct to use in this sentence and why? I have (much, many, an) orange juice.
0
votes
2answers
302 views

Why the indefinite article in “have a good time”?

Why do we use the indefinite article in the expression "have a good time"? Time is an uncountable noun, and we never say "what a beautiful weather!", but "what beautiful weather it is!" Could ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“The” and superlative of uncountable noun — “the clearest water”?

Uncountable nouns are usually used without an article. Superlatives require definite article. What comes out of these 2 rules when superlative meets uncountable article? We need an example, I hope it ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

“It is bad practice …” vs. “It is a bad practice …”

"At work, it is bad practice to go to lunch early." "At work, it is a bad practice to go to lunch early." The noun "practice" is both countable and uncountable. So, could both sentences be ...
5
votes
2answers
265 views

Combined reference to multiple leave

Dictionaries(dictionary.com, OALD etc.) suggest that leave (absence from work) is a noun- uncountable, which means it has to be "leave" for plural. Also, searching SE to find ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Less versus fewer in time related phrases [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Less” vs. “fewer” I am quite pedantic when using 'less' versus 'fewer' but don't really understand how the situation works when it comes to ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

'… the weather' vs. '… weather'

There are two correct (I hope so) sentences with weather taken from a book: Was the weather nice? Did you have nice weather? Can somebody explain why there's an article in the first ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Definite article in the beginning of a sentence

I'm confused with the usage of the definite article. During the development the following tasks were accomplished: Software with a graphical interface was created; [some other things] ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

With “amount” will you use singular or plural?

I am confused about this grammatical question: large amount of data and the fact that it will exponentially grow large amount of data and the fact that they will exponentially grow (the semantic ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

Could you lend me any/a little/../money?

I would like to know how to say that correctly and whether some/any could stand as a subject in the sentence: Could you lend me ... money? Sure, If I find some/any.
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Is thanks a countable noun? Many thanks or much thanks?

A colleague of mine recently wrote in an email "much thanks for your efforts." Does this usage make sense? How does "much thanks" differ from "many thanks"? This is similar to "Is “Many thanks” a ...
5
votes
2answers
763 views

Are uncountable nouns considered irregular plurals like man men?

Is "rice", for example only, considered an irregular plural?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

When to use “the” before food names

I am new to the English language and I am going to English classes. In the middle of my book, we have a lesson about foods. In this lesson, food names are explained but I do not understand something. ...
2
votes
6answers
13k views

“Advice” vs. “an advice”

I have often heard that advice is uncountable and shouldn't be prefixed with an article. So I often force myself to say "a piece of advice". But I've seen it used with an article on a number of ...
5
votes
4answers
489 views

Can “listening” be countable?

Can listening be countable? Can I say We will do a listening during today's lesson?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

When do we use 'revision' as a countable noun?

'Revision' might be countable or uncountable. I am a little bit confused.
4
votes
1answer
483 views

Why are “homework” and “work” uncountable in English? [closed]

In Bulgarian both "homework" and "work" are countable. Why are they uncountable in English then? What is the difference in meaning that makes that happen?
0
votes
2answers
308 views

Is “deliberation” or “deliberations” correct when done over multiple topics?

Are these sentences correct? Contemporary deliberation on American culture, economy, politics in the 20th and 21st century? Contemporary deliberation*s* on American culture, economy, and politics ...
3
votes
3answers
636 views

Plurality of data [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “data” considered singular or plural? Milton Friedman, the Nobel-prize winning economist used to threaten that he would "take away any graduate student's ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Is ”Have you got paper?” a well-formed question?

Is it grammatical to ask Have you got paper? Do you have to specify have you got a piece of paper, any paper, or some paper — or can you just say paper?
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Many more vs much more / many fewer vs much fewer

This year there were: many more people much more people Alternatively: many fewer people much fewer people Which is considered better English?
1
vote
4answers
2k views

The article “a/an” with uncountable nouns

Sometimes I read in books sentences where uncountable nouns are used with the article "a/an". For example "She fades like a dew before the sun". Is it out of the common rules? P.S.: Sorry if this ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the plural “bosoms” an acceptable word? Or is it always “bosom”?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bosom I found recently that even an elderly educated woman was referring to her bosom in the plural, as her bosoms. Please settle my discomfort finally, and clarify ...
5
votes
3answers
25k views

“Is there” versus “Are there”

Are there any questions I should be asking? Is there any articles available on the subject? My instinct is that in the two questions above, it should be 'are' as the subjects of the sentences ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

“Baggage” versus “luggage”

I have the feeling that luggage is more closely associated with vacation travel, whereas baggage is for general transportation. Or... are they just exact synonyms?
3
votes
1answer
292 views

When do nouns convert between mass and count?

I confess to having the pedantic hangup of refusing to use email as a count noun, but it's a lost cause. Over the past week I've been working on a modeling and simulation proposal, and I've noticed ...
6
votes
3answers
234 views

Is “latte” a countable noun?

I have learned that liquids are uncountable, except for measurements such as "three cups of water." So, does "three lattes" in this context refer to three cups of latte?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Are two or more clusters of ivy considered “ivy” or “ivies”?

When referring to two or more clusters of ivy, is it ivy, ivies, or something else entirely?
1
vote
3answers
368 views

What is the plural form of “whitespace”?

I ask this because Firefox suggested that whitespaces is not a valid word; rather it gave me whitespace or white spaces.
6
votes
2answers
388 views

“I played two music” vs. “I played two pieces of music”

I have a Canadian friend who sometimes helps me improve my English. A few days ago she sent me a list of some words (nouns) which the plural form is the same of the singular. One of these words was ...
28
votes
6answers
5k views

Is it wrong to use the word “codes” in a programming context?

Is it wrong to use the word "codes" in programming context? I shall use these codes.
22
votes
5answers
51k views

Is “there're” (similar to “there's”) a correct contraction?

Q: "Do you have any juice?" A: "Yes, there's some in the fridge." Sounds perfectly fine to me, but: Q: "Do you have any towels?" A: "Yes, there's some in the closet." Does not. I asked ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Using an uncountable noun and 'none'

Today I came across the following sentence: We asked for help and were given none. It feels and sounds right to me. However, after decomposing none into not one, it becomes apparent that you ...
3
votes
3answers
730 views

“The (Cobra)” vs. “An (elephant)”, articles with nouns denoting a class

[ 1 ] tells on p.5 that "Singular nouns denoting a class" are preceded by the definite article "THE" (Example: "The Cobra is dangerous"), while on page 7 (Table 6. THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE) it tells ...
49
votes
11answers
3k views

Is “data” considered singular or plural?

Related to this question and this question. My non-native English speaking friend just asked me: Data is ... or Data are ... I said both but that's because I've been desensitized from ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Is the word “data” now considered singular, or still plural?

I know that the singular of data is datum. I know that data is a plural. However, common usage of the word "data" suggests it is used as a "collection of data". Here is [the collection of] data. ...
6
votes
5answers
451 views

Explanation for “emails”?

This is a thinly veiled rant, I realize, but if anybody can rationalize "emails" for me in such a way that I can stop grabbing people who say it, and asking them if they've ever gone to their mailsbox ...
4
votes
6answers
697 views

Mass nouns and counts nouns. Does getting it wrong ever matter?

Less/fewer, too much/too many, amount/number... When people get these things wrong, it bugs me. But I cannot think of a situation where mistaking a mass noun for a count noun (or vice versa) would ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

“None” as plural indefinite pronoun

In my grammar book (English Grammar, HarperCollins Publishers), I read that none is occasionally treated as plural, but it is usually regarded as singular. Can you give me an example of sentence where ...
11
votes
4answers
13k views

Is “stuff ” a plural word? [closed]

I'm wondering which one of these expressions is correct? This stuff or these stuff?