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Can I add "an" after “what" in the following sentence ?

We'll have a summer camp soon.

What (an) exciting news it is!

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  • As a native speaker, I would say no: 'What an exciting news it is!' simply sounds wrong to me. Don't worry, though, as this kind of sentence construction is very rare. Most sentences are statements, such as 'that car is travelling very fast'. However, some sentences use a particular kind of grammatical syntax to make an exclamation. E.g. 'how fast that car is travelling!'. Again, this is unusual, and if you knew when to use such a sentence, then I would say that your command of English is quite exceptional!
    – Joe
    Jun 8, 2020 at 12:33
  • No. News is an uncountable noun; if you wanted to refer to a particular story you would have to say piece of news or item of news Jun 8, 2020 at 12:34

1 Answer 1

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No, you can't. 'News' is an uncountable noun. Since it is uncountable we can't say 'a' (one).

Therefore

What exciting news it is!

is the correct form.

If you need to qualify 'how much news', you need to use 'piece(s) of news'. In your case, it's correct to say

What an exciting piece of news (it is)!

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  • But we can say "this news". Jun 8, 2020 at 12:38
  • @StephenLiu Oddly enough, yes you can. :-) Jun 8, 2020 at 12:41
  • Indeed! You can use 'this' and 'that' with uncountable nouns. Pretty odd as @PrimeMover says!
    – JMB
    Jun 8, 2020 at 12:57
  • But you don't say "this water" or "that sand". How strange! Jun 8, 2020 at 13:38
  • @StephenLiu Indeed you do - all the time: This water is for the dog - That sand is not suitable for making concrete Jun 8, 2020 at 14:25

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