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A VOA tutorial says

In English, only certain kinds of words come before nouns. Often, the word that comes before a noun is an adjective.

There are some different types of words would come before nouns, e.g. to be, verbs, prepositions, adjectives, etc, which could be "certain kinds of words" that tutorial mentioned.

Therefor that tutorial uses "kinds of". In this kind of situation, it has to use "kinds of" rather than "kind of", as there are many kinds.

Is my understanding right?


In phrase "kind of" mainly has 2 meanings, "category" and "to some extent", please have this post focus the former meaning.

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Don't get confused with the difference between "kind(s)" and "kind of". "kind(s)" means "type(s)" and "kind of" means "sort of", "approximately", etc. "kind(s)" can also be followed by "of". "of" is not special here. It's like "a tank of fish", "three bunches of grapes", etc.

"kind" is either singular or plural, and is often in agreement with the surrounding words.

There are many kinds of words ... (plurals emphasised)

There is one kind of word ... (singulars emphasised)

"kind of" is an adverbial phrase and it is always expressed in the singular:

Cats are kind of like dogs.

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  • Thanks for your answer. Would I view of what you said as a YES to my question? – WXJ96163 Mar 16 at 23:19
  • @WXJ96163 TL;DR yes. I didn't have time to include references but I'll edit it later. – CJ Dennis Mar 17 at 0:33
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"Kinds of" means "different types of" .

"Kind of" means "to some extent" , for example : "I was kind of tired."

"Some kind of" is used to say that you're not certain of the thing you're talking about , for example : "I heard some kind of noise."

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  • Your answer is very helpful. Thank you. Would you please link some authoritative reference? – WXJ96163 Mar 15 at 3:18
  • "Kind of" could also mean category – WXJ96163 Mar 15 at 3:28
  • you can look up each one on the internet..there are some great online dictionaries that will absolutely make it clear for you....and yes "kind of" could also mean category or type – Moha Mar 15 at 13:00

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