I have a doubt of using article a before pain.As pain is not countable there should not use article a but mostly book used article "a".can any one explain why?

  • 2
    One can have many pains. Pain is both countable and uncountable, depending on what you mean. "A pain" is a single instance of pain. – Robusto May 19 '15 at 11:02
  • How can you have a doubt? If you can have a doubt, then certainly you can have a pain. – RegDwigнt May 19 '15 at 13:01
  • The phenomenon of pain is an abstract mass noun; but individual instances of pain can be very countable, depending on the source. I get a pain in my neck when I turn to the left, for instance, is a perfectly normal and meaningful sentence. Many mental and physical sensations can be either generalized or individuated by context. Most nouns are not always either count or mass, no matter what the dictionary says; usage overrides. You can countify a mass noun or massify a count noun, just by using it in the right construction. – John Lawler May 19 '15 at 17:01

Pains can be of different kinds (and we feel them in different places). For example, we can experience burning, throbbing, cramping, and dull aches, and can have pain on the skin and pain in the belly or in the knee. So we are at liberty to use the article, and we often do:

Doctor, I have a throbbing pain in my right temple.

The patient presented with throbbing head pain.

I haven't taken great pains to answer your question, but can elaborate if anything is unclear.

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