When to use system as countable-noun, and when to use system as uncountable-noun?

for Example: I wrote an article whose title is

"an XXX analysis for state prediction of process complex system (systems?)"

Another example, in the article, I wrote

"To predict the system state, XXX analysis is proposed to investigate the changing state of the system".

Is it correct thinking of the form of "system" or "systems"?

I am rather confused.

  • The "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems"was a 1632 book by Galileo Galilei comparing the Copernican system with the traditional Ptolemaic system.
    – user114
    May 25, 2013 at 7:56

1 Answer 1


System is countable.


London has an extensive public transport system.

London and Paris both have extensive public transport systems.

It could it be that in the name of the first article, the indefinite article a was dropped due to style considerations, because this looks more correct:

the state prediction of a system

I cannot think of a sentence where system would be uncountable.

  • Is that mean I should use "a system" for singular noun and "systems" for plural noun? So the title "an XXX analysis for state prediction of process complex systems" is correct, and use 'system' is wrong.
    – mikemelon
    May 25, 2013 at 13:17
  • Yes, exactly like you said. May 25, 2013 at 19:01
  • 1
    Whether the incorrect "system" or correct "systems" is used, the title is still terrible English: "prediction of process complex systems" is neither grammatical nor intelligible. "System," however, would be correct if the analysis pertained to a unique system, which I gather was not the intent. May 31, 2020 at 15:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .