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In one of my network textbooks, a text is as:

The difference is simply a constant 10 units for time greater than 2 seconds.

The article "a" does not seem to be fit with plural "units". Am I wrong? Should it be like:

The difference is simply a constant which/that is 10 units for time greater than 2 seconds.

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    Yes I agree with you. The indefinite articles a is used to modify singular nouns. When using a plural noun, article 'a' is unnecessary. Plural nouns can take either a definite article or no article at all. Jul 11, 2017 at 7:36
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    english.stackexchange.com/questions/252173 Yeah, you're wrong; the indefinite (not infinite) article is okay.
    – user3395
    Jul 11, 2017 at 11:17

1 Answer 1

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You cannot say a units.

You can say a constant 10 units, because you are talking about all 10 of those units as 1 indivisible thing. The real noun is something like "a group of 10 units that remain constant." Just like you can say a bushel of apples or a bag of coins.

Your second example doesn't work because you aren't just talking about a constant, but the full concept of "a constant 10 units."

Saying a bag of coins and a bag which is containing 10 coins very technically refers to the same thing, but a bag which is containing 10 coins makes it sound like you don't care about the coins at all and you really just want the bag.

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  • Should your a group of 10 units that remain constant be a group of 10 units that remains constant? Aug 21, 2017 at 4:14

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