Could someone help me with this sentence: "It was an awesome weather."

Is this sentence correct?

  • "It was a nice day"? I suppose it depends on the meaning you're trying to get across. – Scott Jun 28 '17 at 13:17
  • Doesn't look right, but we'd need context to be sure. – RShields Jun 28 '17 at 13:20
  • @Lawrence "Weather" is a mass noun but "days" are countable. The ways you use these types of words should not be confused. – RShields Jun 28 '17 at 14:02
  • The answers correctly state that 'It was an awesome weather' is unacceptable (though I expect the odd poet has used the expression). However, they claim that " 'Weather' is non-count so an indefinite article may not be used with it". This is an incorrect analysis. There is another thread where the possibility of using a/an with non-count usages is explored; with 'The director spoke at the meeting today with an enormous enthusiasm' it is not wise to label the usage as count as '... 2 / 3 / 76 enormous enthusiasms' are totally unacceptable. CGEL demands the numeral (not a/an) test for countness. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 28 '17 at 15:27

One wouldn't say It was an awesome weather but we had awesome weather or the weather was awesome. Another choice is it was awesome weather, especially as an answer to what kind of weather was it?

Weather is almost always a mass (or uncountable) noun. See, among others, Oxford dictionary.

An exception to this is in (in) all weathers, but this is now rare and could be considered a 'fixed expression'. In Moby Dick you'll find

It is by reason of this cosy blanketing of his body, that the whale is enabled to keep himself comfortable in all weathers, in all seas, times, and tides.

In 1998 a book called The Ocean: Our Future includes

Here, at all times of day and in all weathers, the sea and the maritime environment are a constant, pervasive and complex presence.

Today, most speakers do not use weather as a count noun, but usage determines what is grammatical; so stay tuned. Some people in the US these days use weather to mean an individual, particular instance of bad weather, as in We're going to have some weather tonight and Did you get any weather over there last night?, which is a usage that is kind of new to me. Still, this is uncountable, even though it refers to a single event.

  • A usage doesn't have to be count to allow an indefinite article (though I'd agree that 'It was an awesome weather' sounds outlandish or ancient-poetic). But you can improve your answer by giving a reference demanding a non-count usage in normal English. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 28 '17 at 15:34
  • Your second example coincidentally uses 'a' with what I'd call a non-count usage (CGEL demand that count usages may always accept numerals). '[They] are a constant, pervasive and complex presence.' // */?'[They] are a 2 / 7 / 49 ... constant, pervasive and complex presences.' ... 'He has an excellent knowledge of Spanish.' would certainly be a non-count usage according to CGEL. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 30 '17 at 9:55

You cannot have "a" weather, weather is not a countable noun.

You should say instead "The weather was awesome". You can say "It was awesome weather" but it is not the most idiomatic expression.

  • I think there are plenty of contexts where it's quite reasonable to say different times or places have different weathers. – FumbleFingers Jun 28 '17 at 13:41
  • @FumbleFingers But it is never acceptable to have "a weather" because, as the answer states, "weather" is not a countable noun. You can't divide weather into quanta. The most closely related term I can think of is mass noun, which is a noun such as "bread." You can have bread and you can have breads (kinds of bread), but you cannot have "a bread." – RShields Jun 28 '17 at 13:49
  • @RShields: There's nothing wrong with, say, They have a bread in Italy that's completely different to anything we have traditionally baked in Britain. Such a construction is less likely with weather, but it's certainly not grammatically impossible. – FumbleFingers Jun 28 '17 at 13:56
  • @FumbleFingers When you say "a bread" you're effectively rephrasing "a type of bread." "A type of weather" is so rarely used in English (and this example would feel awkward with that rephrasing) that you should assume it's wrong unless there is indication that it's right. – RShields Jun 28 '17 at 14:00
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    @RShields: If the OP had posted on English Language Learners I'd be quite happy to ignore marginal issues such as those I'm raising here. But this isn't ELL, so I make no concession to people who simply want to learn how English is usually used (as opposed to exploring what's possible). – FumbleFingers Jun 28 '17 at 14:10

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