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I'm really confused to use what before "enormous", my sentence is this:

X country’s presence in the region had brought it enormous influence not only on allied countries, but even on hostile countries like Y and Z.

When I wrote my sentence for the first time, I had used "a greet" instead of "an enormous amount" but grammarly said that "I shouldn't use "a" before great." and that's what's confusing to me.

I checked this sentence in grammar checking websites for several times, and every time it gives me a different result. In "had brought it enormous influence" part, If I use "an" before enormous grammarly says it's correct, and If I don't use "an" it again says it's correct!

Which one would be true?

X country’s presence in the region had brought it an enormous influence not only on allied countries, but even on hostile countries like Y and Z.

or

X country’s presence in the region had brought it enormous influence not only on allied countries, but even on hostile countries like Y and Z

It also came to my mind to say :

X country’s presence in the region had brought it a great influence not only on allied countries, but even on hostile countries like Y and Z.

Which of sentences are more clear?

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Enormous is an adjective: it modifies and describes a noun.

When you write "an enormous influence" you are modifying the noun "influence" and saying that it is very large, which is not quite correct usage. I think of influence as being strong or weak, not large or small.

What you should do is insert another noun referring to quantity: an enormous amount of influence. Now you are not describing the physical size of the influence, but instead saying there is a lot of it. This is correct, and what Grammarly was trying to tell you. When you do it this way there is no problem using great instead of enormous.

Once you have done this you can sometimes remove "an amount of" (including the article!!) and leave only "enormous." You are still modifying the quantity rather than the influence itself, but the actual word has been hidden: "...brought it great influence" (note no a before the adjective). This is a somewhat fancy way of writing and it is fine to not do it this way.

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  • Thanks, so I can either say brought it an enormous amount of influence or brought it great influence, right?
    – user48
    Sep 6 '21 at 13:40
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    Yes, or the other way; you can use either "enormous" or "great" in either sentence. But you have to have all of the phrase "an amount of," or else none of it.
    – randomhead
    Sep 6 '21 at 13:55

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