After a few days, the fresh flavor of the food became (a) stale solitude.

I'm a bit confused about the word solitude. It sounds countable and non-countable at the same time. So I don't know whether to use an "a" or not.

  • 2
    The sentence would be grammatical either with or without the "a". However, its meaning is unclear.
    – Mick
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 10:38
  • That's a very metaphorical sentence! I, too, would use "a" because food (physical substances that are nourishing when eaten) cannot be solitude (a state of psychological apartness), so it has to be re-cast to be more clearly metaphor.
    – MMacD
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 18:34
  • I don't think solitude works in this context, even as a metaphor. Do you mean (some variation on) solace, perhaps?
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


Solitude when used in a countable sense can mean "a time, event, or thing where solitude featured prominently", in an uncountable sense it means "the quality of being alone and uninterrupted."

So it depends on whether you want to equate flavor with something that has solitude as a prominent attribute (which would be inferred from context) or equate it with the quality of solitude directly.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .