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, 2018 at 7:54
  • Pretend your grammar check tool has a sense of humour.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 22, 2018 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'. Mar 22, 2018 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, 2018 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


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. Mar 22, 2018 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, 2018 at 12:15
  • Touché! You definitely have a point. But then, what's the difference between plurality and countability?
    – user289091
    Mar 23, 2018 at 17:07

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