I've seen "some in form of" used for a lot of things, sometimes for non material things.

Let me explain:

"It does have a lot of humor, some in form of direct jokes, some in form of answers"

Is this usage correct? Can you use "some in form of" for non material things and concepts?

  • 3
    It's ...in the form of [blah blah]. Jun 8 '17 at 17:03

Yes, "some in form of" — or even just "in form of" — is a grammatical phrasing. A Google Ngram shows numerous examples. Below, you will find five I picked from Google Ngram:

"There are dentifrices of a powder composed of various kinds and forms; some in form of powder composed of..."

"In 306, Constantine the Great erected a sumptuous church, in form of a Latin cross, in the..."

"The remarkable rhythm of growth and the astonishing variety in form of desert plants have always attracted the attention..."

"And how do you achieve an agreement in form of life?"

"Meanwhile we observe more and more important information which is obtained, collected, stored and retrieved in form of the many kind of images."

Whether those forms are tangible or intangible is immaterial. You'll notice the second, fourth, and fifth examples above refer to intangibles. Moreover, if what you're getting at is that a "joke" or an "answer" is "non material," which you might construe as meaning "without form," know that while these may lack physical form, they are not without form. A joke, for example, takes form as one contrives it, before one even speaks it, thus that form only existing in one's mind, so lacking physical form but not lacking form.


The sentence would be more accurate this way:

It does have a lot of humor; some in the form of direct jokes, and some in the form of answers.

We need to add the definite article the because the form of ... part of the sentence is non-specific, i.e., it refers to a generalized view rather than a specific noun.

  • If it were generalised and non-specific, you’d expect the definite article to be incorrect. It is in fact specific. Feb 25 '18 at 17:48

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