I have been having difficulting using the word "accuracy" and I am not sure how to add an article before "accuracy". The sentence I am trying to write is "To guarantee accuracy, we ...".

I looked up in a dictionary and found that accuracy is countable. So I was told a countable singular-form noun should always have a leading article. However, another rule is that an article is not needed for abstract concepts. I believe accuracy is an abstract concept, so there should no article. So I am confused. Is that accuracy is both countable and uncountable and in this case we are using the uncountable version?

Here is a link to Merriam-Webster dictionary https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accuracy. It has a plural form, so I think that indicates "accuracy" is countable.

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    Hello, Yifan Sun. Please show your research (a link to the dictionary, the relevant line/s, and an attribution). 'Accuracy' is non-count in any usage I can think of (there might be marginal cases), though an indefinite article may be found in say 'with an accuracy of 0.1%'. The test is numeral-substitution: *'with 19 accuracies of ...'. // Your problem isn't answered by " ' accuracy' is non-count". You need to know whether to use the indefinite article in your example. 'To guarantee accuracy, we' or 'to guarantee an accuracy of 0.1%, we' is correct. Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 15:55
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    The occasional use of the indefinite article with a non-count noun usage is covered reasonably well at a blinding light ... blinding sunlight ... a blinding sunlight. // A count usage of 'accuracy' is arguably: 'AkmE.ko guarantee an accuracy of 0.1% whereas 'AknE.ko only guarantee an accuracy of 0.5%. There's a big difference between these two accuracies.' Countification goes on apace. Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 16:05
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    Both OALD and Macmillan only add the label 'uncountable'. Wiktionary is better. Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 16:16
  • @EdwinAshworth I add added a link to Merriam-Webster dictionary.
    – Yifan Sun
    Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 17:10
  • It depends on the context.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


You use an article beforehand if it's being used to mean a specific incident that's accurate.


The accuracies and the inaccuracies were tallied.

You don't use an article beforehand if it's being used to mean the concept of being accurate, not a thing that's accurate.


Accuracy is important here because mistakes can't be fixed.

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