I have a confusion about the usage of plural forms of uncountable & abstract nouns.

I come across both usages like:

  1. Their last hopes remain elusive

  2. Their last hope remains elusive

Is it okay to use plural forms of non-count & abstract noun?

  • In both instances, "hope" is countable. Which you would use would depend on if there was more than one hope or just one hope that remained and that was elusive. – Benjamin Harman Aug 31 '19 at 19:45
  • "I have a question", not "I have a confusion , or doubt". Perhaps you would feel more comfortable on our sister site, English Language Learners – Cascabel Aug 31 '19 at 21:14
  • @BejaminHarman "much hope" is certainly a standing collocation. "many hopes" does not negate the countability, the plural merely relates to different types of hope. Although, if you for one prefer to multiply the hope for multiple agents, instead of sharing it, there's nothing for me to say that you couldn't. Likewise if you want to have a group of hopes to remain, to subsume the uncountable sense. It is after all illusive. By the way, the singular pluraletantum is preferable if it can be refered to as it. ... – vectory Aug 31 '19 at 21:55
  • ... With they gaining an indefinite singular sense, I could even accept they remain ilusive in either case. However it would clash with their. – vectory Aug 31 '19 at 21:59
  • While "much hope" is a possible usage in a noncount sense, that's got nothing to do with this situation with clearly indicates its countable by the use of "last." You can only have a last if you have a first, and with a first hope and a last hope, those hopes are countable. – Benjamin Harman Sep 6 '19 at 1:23

It depends on how many hopes there are. This is not the same as how many people there are.

For the people in the burning building their last hope is the fire brigade.

For the people sentenced to death their last hopes are presidential or governor's pardons.

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