3

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.
  • The study revealed inadequacy in the understanding of this difficult part of the problem. – Michael Login Dec 4 '17 at 22:35
1

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.

| improve this answer | |
  • 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. – Michael Login Dec 4 '17 at 22:24
  • It seems that your comment merely justifies my answer. "Broad inadequacy, perhaps in multiple areas," indicates something that is uncountable. – EllieK Dec 5 '17 at 13:53
  • I ment the usage of the indefinite article. Compare this1 and this2 - 360000:2500 – Michael Login Dec 5 '17 at 14:43
  • The indefinite article would indicate the inadequacy is not uncountable and that one exists. – EllieK Dec 7 '17 at 15:01

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