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Which usage is correct? with or without the indefinite article (an)?

  1. The study revealed inadequacy in understanding this difficult part of the problem.

or

  1. The study revealed (an) inadequacy in understanding this difficult part of the problem.
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  • The study revealed inadequacy in the understanding of this difficult part of the problem. Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 22:35

1 Answer 1

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Both are correct and mean slightly different things.

"revealed inadequacy" means there was broad inadequacy in understanding, perhaps in multiple areas.

"revealed an inadequacy" means there is at least one specific area of inadequacy.

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  • It seems that your answer is not quite right. Inadequacy is largely an uncountable noun. If countable, it is generally used in the plural : The inadequacies of the current system have already been recognised. Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 22:24
  • It seems that your comment merely justifies my answer. "Broad inadequacy, perhaps in multiple areas," indicates something that is uncountable.
    – EllieK
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 13:53
  • I ment the usage of the indefinite article. Compare this1 and this2 - 360000:2500 Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 14:43
  • The indefinite article would indicate the inadequacy is not uncountable and that one exists.
    – EllieK
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 15:01

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