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By the rules we don't place an indefinite article before a mass noun but I've heard both usages:

  1. What a good weather we have today!
  2. What good weather we have today!

Is there a difference between them and are they actually both correct?

P.s. I always prefer the first one, although everybody says it's incorrect. It reads easier and faster and sounds better than without the indefinite article.

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  • For some reason, I always prefer the second one.
    – user178049
    Sep 20, 2017 at 7:49

1 Answer 1

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If the noun is not normally used in the plural (e.g. ~weathers, ~Englishes) then you will find the indefinite article only in the rarest of circumstances, in which the speaker is presenting the singularity as a multiplicity, the underlying idea being that of variety:

She speaks an impeccable English.

The island has a weather like none you've ever experienced.

A variety of English, a variety of weather.

But in typical conversation, we'd tend to say:

She speaks impeccable English.

The island has weather like you've never experienced.

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  • Why then can we say, "A good knowledge of English" or "He has an amazing intuition". Bith these nouns are not used in the plural and they are also uncountable nouns. But I doubt the idea here is variety. Sep 21, 2017 at 5:54
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    @SovereignSun: The idea here is indeed variety, in a minimalist sense: knowledge is divided into two sorts: good and not good. "A good knowledge" is much like "an impeccable English". Sep 21, 2017 at 10:11

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