Developing mental strength is about improving your ability to regulate your emotions, manage your thoughts, and behave in a positive manner, despite your circumstances.

Is "positive manner" a countable noun? Shouldn't it be just "positive manner" or "positive manners" instead?

  • 'In a positive manner' is the idiom, the expression that gets used. I'm convinced that trying to analyse fixed phrases becomes unhelpful at some point. If you need a plural, you're probably better going with 'in positive ways'. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 20 '18 at 0:38

Manner (positive is just an adjective there) is an uncountable noun, and so, its meaning is different when it becomes plural.


a way of doing, being done, or happening; mode of action, occurrence, etc.

I don't like the manner in which he complained.


  1. the prevailing customs, ways of living, and habits of a people, class, period, etc.

    The novels of Jane Austen are concerned with the manners of her time.

  2. ways of behaving with reference to polite standards; social comportment:

    That child has good manners.

  • Your first example is countable. It's identifying a particular manner. Mass nouns can take "much": "How much rice would you like?" – Andrew Leach Feb 19 '18 at 23:50

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