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  1. The phone has a good battery backup

    or

    the phone has good battery back.

Is the article necessary? If necessary, how is the word "backup" countable here?

  1. The party is going to be outdoors, so we'll need to organize somewhere as a backup in case it rains.

In the above sentence "a" is used before backup. How is it countable here?

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  • It's not clear to me what you're trying to count. Please elaborate. But in 2. it's really a "backup plan". Then it's easier to understand.
    – user3169
    Aug 5, 2021 at 2:09

3 Answers 3

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A “battery backup” supplies an object that is mains powered with power when the power supply goes down. A “backup battery” is a battery that is used to replace the original battery when it breaks or is emptied. So first decide what you mean.

Mobile phones rarely have battery backup; stationary phones (landline phones) might. Battery backup would be uncountable.

If you have a backup battery, you made as well have two or three: They are countable.

A battery back is a battery shaped specifically to attach to the back of a mobile phone, it is usually used to recharge the phones normal battery. And it has nothing to do with backup. And it is countable.

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Normally, you'd put both of the adjectives before the word:

good backup battery would be correct, and it would be a count noun since you can have two or more batteries.

User3169 is correct in their comment, but you could also say:

"The party is going to be outdoors, so we'll need to organize somewhere as backup in case it rains."

Here "backup" implies that there's a plan of some sort.

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The term battery backup in the first sentence means a phone's battery life that is not countable. So, an article should not be used. Also, the correct word is battery backup not battery back.

Here are some articles that use the term battery backup correctly.

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/techook/top-five-smartphones-with-best-battery-backup-may-2018-5160087/

  2. https://forums.androidcentral.com/hardware-hideaway/647304-intex-cloud-4g-star-android-mobile-has-good-battery-backup.html

In the second sentence, an article should be used before backup. Backup here refers to a backup plan that is singular and countable.

You can find out more about the usage of the word backup in different contexts here.

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