I found that people usually use "with great enthusiasm" instead of "with a great enthusiasm", as the example below.

I am writing with great enthusiasm to apply for abc job.

I can't see the reason why we can't add "a" in front of "great enthusiasm. Any idea?

  • +1 But let's consider this: do you write with that particular kind of feeling or with a thing that arouses such feelings and enjoyment? Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


Because it is an uncountable noun when meaning:

a strong feeling of interest and enjoyment about something and an eagerness to be involved in it

Ref.: http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/enthusiasm

As the word uncountable says - you can't count these nouns (or rather you can't count the things they represent) you can't say one flour, two flours... The indefinite article a/an always signifies that there is one item. If you can't count them, how do you know that there is only one of them?

When you don't have a dictionary at hand this can help: uncountable nouns don't have plural forms. So, would you say "enthusiasms"? If your answer is no (and it should be) than don't use the indefinite article.


Actually, enthusiasm is a countable noun according to the Oxford Learner's Dictionary (http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/enthusiasm?q=enthusiasm), so using the article 'a' as well as the plural form is just fine. To answer the question of the first poster, why people use it without 'a' is just an axiom, but it is therefore not necessasarily wrong to use the article before this noun.

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