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Found this information on the internet

Uncount nouns

You cannot say a/an with an uncount noun. You cannot put a number in front of an uncount noun. (You cannot make an uncount noun plural.) You use an uncount noun with no article if you mean that thing in general. You use the with an uncount noun when you are talking about a particular example of that thing.

Count nouns

You can put a number in front of a count noun. (You can make a count noun plural.) You can put both a/an and the in front of a count noun. You must put an article in front of a singular count noun. You use a plural count noun with no article if you mean all or any of that thing. You usually use a/an with a count noun the first time you say or write that noun. You use the with count nouns: the second and subsequent times you use the noun in a piece of speech or writing when the listener knows what you are referring to (maybe because there is only one of that thing) You use an (not a) when the next word (adverb, adjective, noun) starts with a vowel sound.

The guideline said "You use a plural count noun with no article if you mean all or any of that thing."

For example, "I read books" means I read all books or any book that I have, doesn't it?

The site didn't mention the rule of "using a single count noun with no article". That is where I confused.

So, it can deduce that "I read book" is grammatically wrong, right?

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    Why do you doubt what the Frankfurrt International School tells you? Aug 19, 2016 at 17:50
  • @P.E.Dant, the site didn't mention it.
    – Tom
    Aug 19, 2016 at 17:51
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    No website can list every countable noun! The usage rules apply to all countable and uncountable nouns. Aug 19, 2016 at 17:53
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    @P.E.Dant, you got me wrong. I mean It didn't mention the rule of "using a single count noun with no article". That is where I confused
    – Tom
    Aug 19, 2016 at 17:59
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    Do you understand what this means: You must put an article in front of a singular count noun. ? Aug 19, 2016 at 18:13

2 Answers 2

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Yes, the sentence is wrong. That website gives some pretty poor guidelines for article usage, but most websites do.

But you did deduce that '*I read book' is wrong.

You usually, but not always, put a determiner before a singular count noun such as book. The indefinite article and definite article are only two of several possible determiners. Other determiners include the personal pronouns and demonstrative pronouns.

'I read books' is rarely going to mean 'all books'. In fact 'books' is most likely going to be a generic noun, saying what type of thing you read. You read 'books' instead of 'magazines' when you have time to read. You can also use 'a book' for the same purpose: 'I read a book now and then to relax'.

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So, it can deduce that "I read book" is grammatically wrong, right?

"I read book" is always grammatically wrong. No exceptions (for once).

These are completely fine/okay/good:

I read a book. (simple present tense)

  • While this sentence is grammatically correct, it would not normally be used on its own. In sentences which use the simple present, there is normally an adverb of time modifying the verb - something like "I read a book every day" or "I sometimes read a book in the evenings."

I read books. (habitual present)

  • This sentence expresses an action repeated over a longer timespan (which includes the present time). That the habitual (and not the simple) aspect is intended can be inferred from the fact that here, the count noun "books" is plural. Since you can only read one book at once, it being plural implies you are in the habit of reading.

I am reading a book. (present continuous)

  • In contrast with the preceding sentence, this one expresses a short-term ongoing action -- you are currently, at this moment in time, in the process of reading a book. Nothing is stated or implied about how often you read books. It would be unlikely for the plural "books" to be used in this context, because again, you can only read one at a time!

I read a book. (simple past tense)

  • The word "read" is pronounced differently in this sentence than in all the others, even though it is spelled the same!

In present-tense forms of the verb "to read," the ea diphthong is pronounced as long e, rhyming with reed. In the simple past, and in the perfect system tenses (had read, having read etc.), the diphthong ea is pronounced as short e, rhyming with red. You can hear them pronounced in this video.

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    Stev, is this what you had in mind? If not, feel free to reject the edit. Sep 2, 2023 at 4:56

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