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I just came across a passage that says:

Occasionally, in certain expressions, when the noun has a gradeable meaning, the indefinite article is dropped:

'Such lovely countryside (around here)!'
'Such awful weather (these days)!'
'We had such fun at Henry's party!'
'I don't know how you have such patience (when dealing with such awkward customers)

So does such ( without indefinite article) function as very here?

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2 Answers 2

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It is very similar to very, but not always interchangeable. For example, you could say "we had such a good time", but you can't say "we had very a good time". It almost means "just look at it!", which is why when you use it in the present tense the listener normally has to be experiencing the thing you're describing.

If I say "such weather!", then chances are me and the person I'm talking to are caught in a thunderstorm.

Or if I say "such lovely countryside!" then the listener should be able to look out the window and see for themselves.

If I use it in the past tense like "we had such fun at Henry's party!" then imagine I'm saying, in a metaphorical way, "look at all this fun I had at the party!"

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Without indefinite article is possible. There could be two reasons -either the noun following it is uncountable or it's an adjective following the word such.

Such lovely countryside - an adjective
We had such fun at Henry's party! - uncountable.

My two cents to this:

However, in the same kinda sentences, using or not using the indefinite article changes the meaning.

I was such a fool, I could not judge her

over

Such fool like me could never judge her

The second sentence makes me as an example. On the other hand, a denotes you, directly. Said that, if you are not pinpointing directly, you don't generally see the definite article.

[I'd be happy learning more about it when natives take on this answer. :)]

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  • thanks as you pointed out it is understanable if we do not use a/an before an uncountable noun but still it is not clear what does really "Such lovely countryside" mean for me
    – Mrt
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 12:16
  • Hey, that way, it's just an intensifier. It simply emphasizes the following words. In your case, the speaker is just emphasizing on it. Replace it with very to understand it better! :) Hope it's clear now.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 12:40
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    "Such fool like me could never judge her" isn't a valid sentence. You could say "Such foolishness was the reason I could never judge her".
    – Mark
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 15:55

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