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I'd like to know if it is possible for the pronoun 'one' to be used without any specifier or article as in the following sentence:

*"Why do you like Chinese food?"

"How about ( ) Australian one?"*

In the second sentence, "one" substitutes its antecedent "food".

I made an assumption that if "food" is an uncountable noun then "one" does not need an article in this sentence .

Is my assumption right? Is the pronoun one always countable? Or it becomes uncountable when its antecedent is uncountable?

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    Food being an uncountable noun, it can't take one, which is strictly for singular count nouns. So the article is irrelevant. The correct sentence is How about Australian (food)? With a mass noun, you can just delete it, but with a count noun you have to instantiate it. Aug 4 '16 at 2:26
  • Of Chinese food and Australian food I only like the first (one). Even here, one apparently does not stand for the mass noun food but for the first option mentioned in the sentence. Is this correct, @JohnLawler. Aug 4 '16 at 23:51
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One doesn't take an article if:

  • it's a determiner itself. "I took one look at it and left."
  • it refers to a person and is being used in a purely abstract sense. "One does not learn English in a day."

Otherwise it needs "the" in front of it. You'll never say "a one" unless one refers to the numeral 1.

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Or, "How about the Australian food ?" could be an option.

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    No, that would sound extremely awkward. The definite article should not be there. Aug 4 '16 at 6:11
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