2

I don't understand why all dictionaries say "potion" is countable.

That is we can not say "he drank some potion".

Normally, a witch boils/makes a pot of potion. And then she just drinks some potion not a potion.

It is so hard to express idea if "potion" is not uncountable.

But, google book has a lot of results "drink some potion"

4
  • 1
    It can be either, like "liquid". You can pour some liquid, and water is a liquid. But I'm not sure why the dictionary doesn't say this.
    – user253751
    Sep 10 at 12:54
  • 1
    'Drink some of the potion' or Drink some of a potion' are both better grammar than 'drink some potion. In both of these you are drinking part of a singular potion. 'Drink some potions' means you are drinking more than one (countable) potions. In all of these cases the phrases are usually about some already discussed (singular or countable) potion or potions. Sep 10 at 13:18
  • 1
    Without context, it's possible "some potion" means "a random potion", rather than referring to "potion" in an uncountable way.
    – gotube
    Sep 10 at 17:10
  • 1
    He would be hard pressed to drink two potions. Right? A witch makes a potion, not a "pot of it", usually. She may, however, make it in a pot.//drink some coffee versus drink two coffees, OK.
    – Lambie
    Sep 10 at 17:25
7

We usually refer to a potion in the sense of a particular mixture made up by someone, rather than a generic substance like milk or wine. So you could say 'The witch drank some of the potion she had made'. (Of course, we can also say a wine to refer to a particular kind.)

It's possible that some of the quotations found by Google are using 'some potion' to mean 'an unspecified potion' rather than 'a small quantity'. In some cases, it's part of a phrase like 'some potion ingredients' or 'some potion vials' (ingredients or containers for a potion) - or it can mean 'some (of the previously mentioned) potion'. So it's not correct that we cannot say 'he drank some potion', but the word is usually thought of as countable.

3
  • In Ngram, "some potion" is much more common than "some of the potion" books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Tom
    Sep 10 at 14:41
  • See the additions to my answer. Sep 10 at 16:32
  • If the witch or wizard had a clumsy accident, I might well say 'I've got potion all over my shirt". Sep 10 at 17:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.