Questions tagged [countable-nouns]

Countable nouns can be modified by a quantity.

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31 views

'Torment' - mass or count noun? [duplicate]

Are there any differences in grammar between the 'mass noun'  torment  and the 'count noun' torment. For Example : Waking me up all the time when I am asleep is torment. (mass noun) Waking me up all ...
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23 views

Article usage in two sentences [duplicate]

Two sentences: She underwent emergency surgery. I had to undergo a medical examination when I started my new job. Why in sentence one the article "an" is not required before "...
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In chess lingo, should pieces be preceded with the “the” article? [closed]

I've noticed many native english speakers that are professional chess players saying things like: In this situation I can capture with pawn. This just "sounds" very unnatural to me and I ...
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1answer
189 views

Can “wildlife” be a collective noun?

All dictionaries I have checked list the term wildlife as an uncountable noun. But there are plenty of examples that treat wildlife as a plural. Indeed, Google returns around one million search ...
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34 views

“Plaintiff” without an article

Garner's fourth edition reads we accord to plaintiff his due. Why is this nominal indirect object used without any article at all? OED: http://oed.com/oed2/00180661
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Is it “some MOUSE” or “Some MICE”? [duplicate]

I would like to ask a grammatical question in the following sentence. "I was happily munching away when some mouse spilled coffee on me." Why it says some mouse? But not some mice?
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25 views

History of the use of “none” for countable nouns

The concept of countable nouns seems to be rapidly disappearing from modern English (e.g. I'm seeing "the amount of people" with increasing frequency, even in reputable publications, which ...
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1answer
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Determiner “(a) little” with singular countable words

Page 308 of Practical English Usage reads We use the determiner (a) little with singular (usually uncountable) words. What use with singular countable words is it implying? I know it's always ...
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454 views

is opportunity countable or non-countable?

I want to use the phrase "plenty of opportunities" in my essay, but I'm not sure whether opportunity is countable or not. Some people say that the phrase "plenty of opportunity" is ...
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a + adjective + “many” + of the + plural noun

(Countable noun) [a + adjective + ~ + of the + plural noun] a large number of persons or things: A good many of the beggars were blind. https://www.wordreference.com/definition/many Is the plural ...
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Singular / plural form of the noun ‘type’ (meaning printed letters or typeface) – what are the rules?

When is the noun type (meaning typeface or text set in type) used in singular form and when is it used in plural form? Is it referred to as a singulare tantum? In which case is it an uncountable noun ...
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“Two additional days” but “an additional two weeks” [closed]

[Google ngrams] I'd like to know what are the grammatical differences between both structures, as well as one or the other predominates for days and weeks.
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Mass noun Question: “survival”(uncountable) , “struggle(countable)”

generally "survival" is uncountable, however "struggle" is countable. In my guess and definitions in dictionaries "survival" is a state and continuing sense. struggle is ...
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55 views

Are there one or more words that take only a singular form? [duplicate]

In a Cambridge dictionary, it distinguishes a singular form from a countable form, but, in an Oxford dictionary, it only says the word is uncountable or countable.
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Using “one” with nouns whose countability is ambiguous

An ESL student produced the following sentence: “The Western diet seems to be more unhealthy than the Japanese one.” The use of “one” immediately struck me as awkward, but not necessarily incorrect, ...
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Is it correct to say we have five sense organs?

There is a difference in type of something and actual number of that thing as per my understanding. Saying, we have five senses or five kinds of sense organs is okay, but when I say we have five ...
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26 views

Restrictions on ranges indicated by quantifiers in count usages

I've a query regarding common quantifiers used with count usages. I've searched in various resources such as online dictionaries, but I couldn't find out the fruitful solution. Here is the problem: ...
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1answer
2k views

You need rest vs You need a rest

Literally as above, I encountered those sentences in my reading. I wonder about difference between them. Is 'You need a rest' a more emphatic suggestion than 'You need rest' in spoken English? As I ...
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1answer
121 views

Does the structure “an example of” take a plural or a singular noun or both?

For instance, are the following sentences grammatical, and do they mean the same thing or have different meanings? Cheese is an example of protien-rich food. Cheese is an example of a protein-rich ...
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29 views

Do you find “only belongings of somebody” a little bit wierd?

In the sentence below, do you think it is weird to say "only belongings" for "belongings" is a collective noun. The angry mob destroyed the man's only belongings.
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2answers
170 views

Countable uncountable noun vs always singular noun

I always refer to LDOCE for definitions of words. There is additional info on the senses there. That's why I love it. But, I am still deeply confused with these noun classifications; countable ...
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61 views

Is “foreshadowing” a countable noun or uncountable noun?

In my book review, I want to express that "I find well-plotted foreshadowings, which indicate the inevitable tragedy". Is it correct or not? By the way, should I use the word "indicate"?
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306 views

Is it okay to use the word “freedoms” in the following sentence or should I use the word “freedom”?

The laws in our country that restrict our freedoms are not legislated by evil politicians.
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Why do I need “a” in “a mere 5 percent”?

Examples (https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/mere) Sixty per cent of teachers are women, but a mere 5 percent of women are heads and deputies. Tickets are a mere £7.50 at the door. ...
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231 views

skin as a countable noun example

‎Could you please write an example where skin would be used as a countable noun? I have just learned that it can be used both as a countable and an uncountable noun. Thank you.
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In the following sentence, shouldn't “family” take its plural form?

Here is an excerpt from IELTS OG.: For example, when my cousins were backpacking around the world, they were able to reassure their family and friends that.... I find the use of family in its ...
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Is it idiomatic to say “there are 5 Japanese tofus on the dish” to mean “there are 5 pieces of Japanese tofu on the dish”?

When you look for an English noun in an English dictionary, sometimes you see the noun being used as an uncountable and a countable noun. And normally, we use it as an uncountable noun when we want to ...
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Couture and canapé are just another Saturday night until you add a mask. [Why the singular 'canapé'?]

In an American TV show called 'Gossip Girl', here's a narration by Gossip Girl herself (YouTube video): Long ago, when European royals grew bored with palace balls they took a page from the peons, ...
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Coffee or coffees in this context? [closed]

In the morning, most sales are coffees and pastries. Coffee can be used as a countable or an uncountable noun. So what should I choose in this sentence?
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Meaning of velocity - mass noun vs countable noun

Dictionary entries like https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/velocity?q=velocity state that velocity can be a mass noun or a countable noun. What is the difference between the ...
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155 views

When is the word “Departure” countable or uncountable? [closed]

When is "Departure" a countable usage and when is it not?
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298 views

How is 'fixture' a count-noun when 'furniture' is a mass noun?

Fixture is defined in the LEXICO Dictionary as: A piece of equipment or furniture which is fixed in position in a building or vehicle. Here're a couple examples from the dictionary: Cathedral ...
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1answer
475 views

“Weigh benefit(s) against risk(s)”

Both nouns can be either a count noun or a mass noun. I think individually benefit tends to be used countably more than it appears as a mass noun. We list the potential benefits (count) of a thing. ...
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418 views

How to treat a plural count noun?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 335) says: A count noun denotes a class of individuated entities of the same kind. Boy, for example, denotes the class of boys. The individual ...
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1answer
318 views

around town or around towns? [closed]

"Recently, many housing estates around town have seen a dip in home valuations." This is the first sentence of an article. Is it because town has a specific meaning so singular form (uncountable) is ...
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1answer
2k views

Traffic or Traffic jam which is countable [closed]

Why is 'traffic' an uncountable noun while 'traffic jam' is a countable noun? I have asked many people and also googled but didn't get a satisfactory answer
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1answer
285 views

Can the grammar terms, the words 'subject' and 'object', be used as uncountable nouns?

I thought the grammar terms such as 'subject' and 'object' were countable. But I notice that they can sometimes be used without any determiner. For example, here's the first sentence of a linguistics ...
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3answers
183 views

Are mental illnesses countable?

I know that the correct phrasing for this sentence is, but I don't know why. Many of the volunteers had already shown some early signs of mental illness. Since the illness is unspecified, shouldn'...
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1answer
2k views

“An accuracy”, “the accuracy”, “accuracies”, or just “accuracy”

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 ...
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Is it really correct to say that some nouns are countable and others are uncountable?

It is generally accepted practice in linguistics that common nouns are classified into count nouns (aka, countable nouns) and non-count nouns (aka, uncountable nouns or mass nouns). For example, in ...
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2k views

Can “enemy” be used as a plural noun? (Not as a collective noun)

I’ve been recently told that defeat five enemy or ten enemy are here is perfectly acceptable in English grammar. Personally, I’m inclined to believe that only five enemies or five enemy units are ...
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Is the word 'mistake' a concrete or abstract noun? [duplicate]

According to Answers.com: The word mistake is an abstract noun, a word for an error in action or judgement. Is this correct? Then, why does it act like concrete nouns such as 'car' when it comes to ...
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1answer
1k views

Is “the most amount of {countable things}” ever an acceptable replacement for “the greatest amount of {countable things}”?

A recent BBC article reads in part, Yellowstone officials say bison can run up to 30mph (50km/h) and are the animal responsible for the most amount of injuries within the park. The phrase “the ...
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Why “attention to detail” over “attention to details”

Why are people more likely to say "attention to detail" over "attention to details"? I understand both are grammatically correct. But what slight difference between them, if there is any, makes it ...
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189 views

'Too much' with countable noun [closed]

He has too much friend. Is this correct? If so, what is rule for using much for countable noun or should I use many instead? Please clarify.
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Why do Americans say “less than five people”? [duplicate]

I thought "people" is countable, so we should say "fewer than five people"? Being in the US for many years, I rarely hear people saying "fewer than," even with countable nouns like "people." I ...
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3answers
213 views

Can “Targetings” be a plural form of “Targeting” as a noun?

I understand words like "surrounding" can be "surroundings", or "binding" can be "bindings". But is it appropriate with "targeting" as a noun? Here is a recent headline - "UN chief calls for probe ...
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211 views

In 'one-way communication' is 'communication' a countable or uncountable noun usage?

I was wondering whether 'communication' in the phrase (collocation) 'one-way communication' is a countable or uncountable usage. I've seen both usages (e.g. The Guardian leaning more towards ...
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2answers
113 views

Why does the word “shop” behave like a non-count noun in phrases like “set up shop”?

The word "shop" seems to behave like a non-count noun in phrases like "set up shop", "shut up shop" and "close up shop". There's no article ("a"), no plural ending ("-s"). Dictionaries, such as Oxford ...
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293 views

Countable and Uncountable Nouns in a List [duplicate]

Since "information" is an uncountable-noun and "references" is a countable noun, which sentence is correct? Please let me know if any additional information or references are needed. Please let ...

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