I go to the bank, and ask:

Which type of account should I open if I want to receive money from my foreign friend?

"Account" is a singular noun; is it correct that a singular noun follows zero-article? Or should I use "accounts"?

  • ...and it should be "to receive money from" without "the" in this use. – Davo Sep 25 '17 at 11:08
  • "type of account", but the grammar book says that a countable singular noun must follow an article, – Novice Sep 25 '17 at 14:03
  • @Barmar: If multiple, shouldn't "type" be pluralized, rather than "account"? I guess it depends on the contextual assumption that multiple accounts = multiple types, or multiple accounts = multiple accounts of the same type? – Flater Sep 25 '17 at 14:19
  • @Flater That's exactly right. – Barmar Sep 25 '17 at 14:27
  • @Barmar: Actually, the fact that you are opening just one account is utterly irrelevant. It would be perfectly correct, for example, to refer to "two types of animal", "three types of chair", etc. – rjpond Sep 25 '17 at 19:17

Your sentence uses the partitive preposition "of" (read here).

"of" is a very complicatated word as it serves a great many purposes. It is technically grammatically correct to say,

Which type of an account...

But that sounds very formal to native English speakers. This is because the article "an" is redundant. The reason it's redundant is because the compound phrase, "type of account" is a compound noun. The compound noun gets (as needed) the article, not necessarily the subordinate noun. For example:

I have one type of account.

I have the type of account that doesn't earn interest.

I have some type of account, but I don't remember which.

"Interest bearing" is a type of account, but it's not the type I need.

Note, however, that deciding whether or not an article is redundant is complicated (and probably has no specific rule). For example, you cannot drop the article "the" in the following statement:

That's half of the problem....

But you can drop the "of"...

That's half the problem....

But, to answer your question, your proposed sentence is fine. Please do not pluralize "account" nor add additional articles.

| improve this answer | |
  • No where in your link is "of" defined as an article. It's functioning as a Partitive but it still is a preposition. – eques Sep 25 '17 at 20:32
  • @eques, thanks for pointing that out. I'm afraid I had articles on the brain. I repaired the answer. – JBH Sep 25 '17 at 20:48

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