0

My sentence is

The Cold War period in South-Asia was a period marked by changing power dynamics and a large amount of power-politics

My grammar check tool says that I should use "a large number of power politics". I am fairly certain that that is incorrect and my usage is right. I just wanted to confirm

  • I would say you're right, not your grammar check tool. – Zebrafish Mar 22 '18 at 7:54
  • Pretend your grammar check tool has a sense of humour. – Lawrence Mar 22 '18 at 8:24
  • Though I'd say that '...-politics' can't properly be used in a count sense here (though there are certainly occasions when 'politics' is), I'm not happy with 'a large amount of ...'. Would you say 'There was a large amount of physics done last week'? It just doesn't sound idiomatic to my ear. I'd risk the not-exactly-synonyms 'explosion' or 'burgeoning'. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 22 '18 at 9:40
  • Your question has the title 'Is “power politics” countable or uncountable?', but you seem to be asking about whether you should choose "amount" or "number". Please clarify. – BillJ Mar 22 '18 at 11:49
0

Confirmed. Politics, like mathematics, physics, news, looks and many other uncountable nouns, has no singular form, it looks like a plural. And yet, it will be followed by a verb in the 3rd person singular: politics is an art few people master.

  • Hello, Henri. Though I'd choose to regard 'power politics' as a non-count noun in this example, this answer is too simplistic. 'Politics' is used with a plural verb-form when used to mean 'a particular set of political beliefs'. / An answer considered appropriate on ELU will almost always contain supporting references from dictionaries etc. This should have brought out this subtlety. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 22 '18 at 9:28
  • Plurality and countability are not the same thing. The fact that in some contexts "politics" is used with a plural verb (his politics are very right-wing) simply indicates that in this use it is a plural noun, not a count noun. Crucially, "politics" cannot combine with the cardinal numbers "one, two, three" etc., and hence cannot be a count noun. – BillJ Mar 22 '18 at 12:15
  • Touché! You definitely have a point. But then, what's the difference between plurality and countability? – Henri THEUREAU Mar 23 '18 at 17:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.