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The day for changing from one occupancy to the next was on a Saturday.

As far as I know, occupancy doesn't refer to a place but the use or the period of time you use a place, and it's uncountable. I can't work out the meaning. By the way it's longman's sentence example with occupancy.

  • That sentence doesn't make sense, I think you've misquoted it, it should actually be "The day for changing from one occupancy to the next was on a Saturday." It could mean that Saturday is the day when current occupants move out and new occupants move in. – nnnnnn Jan 16 at 7:30
  • You're right! Good thing I mentioned the source! And how come it's countable in this sense? I thought it can never be countable based on the dictionary definition. – Nastaran Y Jan 16 at 8:29
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    @Nastaran Y I think WS2 already provides an impression for this sentence:- “ However, if I describe the period during which one person occupies the building as an occupancy, and each subsequent instance an occupancy. Then each of those "occupancies" can be counted. – aesking Jan 16 at 9:12
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    Replace The day for changing from one occupancy to the next was on a Saturday. with The day for changing from one occupancy to the next was Saturday.. As written OP's sentence suggest that a day occurred on a day, which is some kind of semantic oddity. – High Performance Mark Jan 16 at 11:25
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    It is very obvious what the sentence is supposed to mean. Yes we can say it's clumsy and awkward and rubbish. But it is perfectly clear what the clumsy author wants it to mean. If you can think of several conflicting readings, please list them all so we can have a look. Thank you. – RegDwigнt Jan 24 at 13:05
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There is a sense in which it is countable.

If I say Fire damage has made occupancy of the building impossible., that is NOT countable.

However, if I describe the period during which one person occupies the building as an occupancy, and each subsequent instance an occupancy. Then each of those "occupancies" can be counted.

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  • Thanks for your answer! Can you tell me what your impression of this sentence is? "The day for changing from one occupancy to the next was on a Saturday " – Nastaran Y Jan 16 at 9:07
  • I agree with this answer and would say that the only grammatical problem with the sentence is on (as @HighPerformanceMark has already commented). - so I think the day for changing from one occupancy to the next was Saturday is grammatical, but it strikes me as awkward. Where did you get it from? – JD2000 Jan 16 at 17:30
  • @JD2000 *On a Saturday" is potentially different to "on Saturday". The latter could mean "this coming Saturday (one time only)". There is nothing whatever wrong with "on a Saturday". – WS2 Jan 17 at 9:34
  • I have no problem with on a Saturday in itself, as in occupancy would change on a Saturday - what I said was that it didn't work in the original sentence, which has the day... was ON a Saturday. For me you can't say our wedding day was on a Saturday or bin collection day was on a Thursday. It has to be we got married o a Saturday or the bins were collected on a Thursday. – JD2000 Jan 17 at 11:49
  • @JD2000 Yes. I accept your point -see my comment above to High Performance Mark. – WS2 Jan 17 at 13:18
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The Longman’s dictionary you consulted already explains the countable and uncountable sense of occupancy:

noun [uncountable] formal

[1] the number of people who stay, work, or live in a room or building at the same time

single/multiple occupancy
single occupancy room rates

e.g. Hotels in Tokyo enjoy over 90% occupancy. [uncountable example]


[2] someone’s use of a building, hotel, or other space, for living or working in, or the period during which they live or work there

e.g. The day for changing from one occupancy to the next was on a Saturday. [countable example]

Sense 2, therefore must be the “countable” sense, although it fails to directly mention this, the example for number 2 shows this, and other dictionaries mentions its countable sense.

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  • You see I checked oxford and longman and both don't explicitly mention that occupancy can be used as a countable noun yet longman used it as a countable noun in one example which confused me but thanks to the answers I got to my question I know it can be countable in one sense. I'd appreciate if you could tell me what the sentence I posted means – Nastaran Y Jan 16 at 9:33

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