My grammar book says I can say "I've seen some good movies" but couldn't say "I've seen good movies".

What is wrong with second sentence?

  • 1
    Both sentences are correct as far as I know. Can you please tell us what your grammar book says about why the second sentence is incorrect? It helps coming up with an answer if you do some research that informs your question and cite your sources.
    – Elininja
    May 13, 2019 at 21:39
  • 1
    Both sentences seem valid to me, but not identical in meaning. I agree with @Elininja , what was given as a reason for disallowing the 2nd form? May 13, 2019 at 21:47
  • 2
    Are you sure the second sentence (the incorrect one) wasn't "I've seen good movie?" That would illustrate "movie" being a countable noun: "I've seen good movies." is correct, but "I've seen good movie." is not.
    – Lorel C.
    May 13, 2019 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


Example sentences

Both the sentences:

  • I've seen some good movies
  • I've seen good movies

are grammatical and natural-sounding to me. However, they do not have quite the same meaning. The first form, with "some" is very common, and has no special meaning beyond the component words. It says that the speaker has seen an unspecified number of good movies. The second form, without "some" is a little more unusual, and I would say, places extra emphasis on "seen" or perhaps on "good" It is saying that good movies exist, and the speaker has seen some. I think of this as part of an exchange:

A: All movies are rotten.

B: I've seen good movies

In that exchange, B is contradicting A, asserting that good movies exist, and as evidence saying the B has seen some. There may be an implication that while B has seen a ew good movies, B does not claim that there are many.

Uncountable nouns

Now "movie", of course, is a countable noun, and is used in both singular and plural forms. (movie/movies) But the form:

I'v seen some X

can be used where X is an uncountable noun, although "I've seen an X" cannot.

  • I've seen some rain.
  • I've seen some flour.
  • I've seen some darkness.

In each case this means something like "I've seen X several times." or possibly "many times" in which case "some" may be a form of ironic understatement.

"I've seen some death", said the mortician.

And the same can be true for verbs other than "seen". For example, "known" can be used in a similar way.

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