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Questions tagged [countability]

"Countability" is a property of English nouns, which reflects whether or not they have a plural form.

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"She spoke in broad Yorkshire dialect." — Why is "a" not used here? — I mean: "She spoke in a broad Yorkshire dialect."

an example from "Extra Examples" on oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com: (1) She spoke in broad Yorkshire dialect. As far as I understand, "dialect" in (1) is uncountable since it's ...
Loviii's user avatar
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1) "My weight is 150 pounds"; 2) "The runner's speed was 6 kilometers per hour" — Are "weight" and "speed" countable or not?

britannica.com says "weight" is uncountable here: (1) My weight is 150 pounds. But a user on ell.stackexchange.com says "speed" is countable here: (2) The runner's speed was 6 ...
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Why is "admission" countable in "Museum admission is $5."?

cambridge.org: one of the meanings of "admission": Admission is also the price paid to enter a place. an example for this meaning: (1) Museum admission is $5. Dictionary says "...
Loviii's user avatar
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"I have two good news for you."

Maybe the same as This is a good news. This is good news, or News for plural, but I found "I have two good news for you." in https://math.stackexchange.com/a/4780391/1230831, making me ...
U. Windl's user avatar
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"an example of [countable noun]" v. "an example of a [countable noun]"

Which one would be correct English: The tiger is an example of feline species. or The tiger is an example of a feline species. It may be related to one of my previous questions titled 'One type of ...
Sergey Zolotarev's user avatar
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1 answer
299 views

"I want a cup of coffee" vs "I want a coffee" [duplicate]

As far as I'm concerned, the sentence "I want a cup of coffee" sounds natural, but what about "I want a coffee"? Is it correct? I used Google search to find the number of times ...
rdrg109's user avatar
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Is it right that common nouns after "the whole" are countable and after "the whole of the" are uncountable?

Trying to understand when I need to use "the whole" before common nouns and when "the whole of the", I came across the following rule on wordreference.com: If a singular common ...
Loviii's user avatar
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Could anyone explain why is the article used before percentage? Is there any grammatical rule regarding this?

Could anyone explain why is the article used before percentage? Is there any grammatical rule regarding this? Most countries would be very happy with a 7% growth in this environment. Link But ...
John's user avatar
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When can I use "math class" with an article?

I am searching for the information about countability of class, but cannot find it. The situation where I would like to use "math class" is like this: You are looking at your school ...
Nigutumok's user avatar
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Is "some of the fruit" plural or singular in this case?

Is "some of the fruit" plural or singular? We are familiar with the verse from the bible "She took some of the fruit and ate it.". Here "some of" refers to a piece of a ...
Fra's user avatar
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"It’s one of the greatest American literature." Is this sentence correct?

It's a quote from a material of an online English school. https://eikaiwa.weblio.jp/information/speaking-material/conversation-material/expert-literature-and-art "It’s one of the greatest ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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Would it be wrong if you don't add the article "A" and still use the auxiliary "IS" with the word "SHEEP"?

I researched the word sheep, and its special singular and plural features. I understand plural and singular is the same and it can take "is" or "are" and the word will not change. ...
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"a lot of" preceding a singular countable noun

I'm wondering whether "much of" can be replaced by "a lot of" to mean "a large proportion of" when the following noun is singular and countable. Many nouns have both ...
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"(an) unusual flavor"

I thought we should use an article with the noun phrase "adjective + flavor", but I saw the phrase "a dish with unusual flavor" which has no article before "unusual flavor&...
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Why is "citrus" uncountable in one dictionary and countable in another?

Why is the word "citrus" uncountable in the Oxford dictionary: [uncountable] fruit belonging to the group of fruit that includes oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit: citrus trees citrus ...
Loviii's user avatar
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"You have high IQ" VS "You have a high IQ"

Are these sentences interchangeable in a context where I want to tell a person s/he has high intelligence. You have high IQ. You have a high IQ. Collins dictionary and Cambridge dictionary say &...
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“on hiatus” VS “on a hiatus”

In dictionaries (example 1, example 2) it says that “hiatus” is a countable noun which is usually singular, but I see it being used as an uncountable noun as well in phrases like Two of my colleagues ...
Fire and Ice's user avatar
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What is the difference between 'ambitions' and 'ambition'?

I found a sentence below: When guided by a sense of moral purpose, they were able to channel their ambitions and summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others. (Extract from ...
user464688's user avatar
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Can noun "land" be countable when it refers to a certain plot?

The noun land is considered uncountable, at least for most cases. However, to my opinion, there is a situation when this word would appear more natural being countable noun. I mean plots of land, i.e. ...
Ilya Loskutov's user avatar
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three police; four cattle

There is a group of the nouns that have only plural form and don't have an "-s" at the end. I know three words from this group: people, police and cattle. As I've already found out, we can ...
Loviii's user avatar
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Fish - countable or uncountable

I've heard people saying How much fish or How many fishes, so I don't know whether fish is countable or uncountable.
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Why is a singular noun, 'war', used in 'war was inevitable'?

In the 2nd explanation of the word 'thesis' in the Cambridge Dictionary online, an example sentence goes as 'their main thesis was that war was inevitable'. Why does it use a singular noun 'war' alone?...
Michael's user avatar
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Is "town" a countable noun? [closed]

Is the noun "town" a countable or uncountable noun? Since the plural of "town" is "towns" it seems it is a countable noun. On google it said that is countable and ...
Isaac 's user avatar
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Should there be an article before "rebound" in "a need for (a) rebound"? [closed]

Consider this sentence: He admits that the reason he initially contacted her was a need for a rebound. Is it better to avoid the second "a" and just leave it "a need for rebound"?...
Nick07's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is it natural to use the plural form of tea?

According to Oxford Dictionary, tea is uncountable. However, there's a countable form i.e. a cup of tea. Is it natural to leave out a cup of and just say two teas please, for example? I saw a sentence ...
user516076's user avatar
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2 votes
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Which one is correct for general ideas? [closed]

Which one is correct? When I was a kid or when I was kid Kid is a general idea there. So should it be without the identifier? And also I sleep during a day or I sleep during day Isn't day a ...
Nik's user avatar
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2 answers
413 views

the usage of 'many', 'much', 'few', and 'little' as a pronoun

As far as I know, all the words can be used as a pronoun. 'many' and 'few' occur with countable nouns, while 'much' and 'little' with uncountable nouns. There are two confusing sentences, which I saw ...
ing's user avatar
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"A healthy food" or "healthy food"

Is a required before healthy food in my sentence? I like fast food, but it's not a healthy food.
Antonia A 's user avatar
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The sum of uncountable things and countable things

There are red colour, yellow colour and three pencils. Could I say “there are five things (2 qualities + 3 objects)”?
user142427's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can “berries” refer to types of berries?

We call milk, water and wine “many liquids” when describing types of liquid. Likewise can we call blue berries, raspberries and strawberries “many berries” referring to types of berries?
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1 vote
3 answers
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Is the article necessary in "The phone has 'a' good battery backup", and if so how is "backup" countable?

The phone has a good battery backup or the phone has good battery back. Is the article necessary? If necessary, how is the word "backup" countable here? The party is going to be outdoors,...
Soumya Thota's user avatar
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2 answers
448 views

How can a noun be countable and uncountable at the same time?

How can a noun be countable and uncountable at the same time? For example 'shock'. You can get a shock. I'm suffering from __ shock.
YourNeighbour's user avatar
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1 answer
204 views

"Two or less/fewer"

Couple can mean "two (or more)''. Pair will almost always mean "two (or less).'' Why is less used here? What's it mean? LESS https://oed.com/oed2/00132077 , FEW https://oed.com/oed2/...
GJC's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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'at very high altitude', 'at very high altitudes': both are okay in this sentence?

I'd like to know and ask whether both the sentences below are correct. At very high altitude you will have difficulty breathing. At very high altitudes you will have difficulty breathing. My ...
Smart Humanism's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
171 views

Are there any rules for placing a noun after a preposition?

I still cannot master which form of nouns (singular or plural) should be placed before and after the preposition "of". For example, if I want to refer to one book of each student, which one ...
Ken's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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Apples in the pie

I came across an example in the book Oxford Discover by Emma Wilkinson. What was in the pie? Apples and sugar. I have learnt that when we can no longer count an ingredient, or when the amount of end ...
Antonia A 's user avatar
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1 answer
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Do people have multiple heads?

I know every person has their own head. -> Each person has a head above the neck. I can see other people's headS in the crowd. -> I can see lots of headS among the crowd. I know people have ...
Kumas's user avatar
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1 answer
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Such Business vs Such a Business? Which one is correct?

Singular nouns use an indefinite article (managing a business) and plural nouns use a definite article or no article (Managing the businesses or Managing businesses.) I have heard (not sure if read) ...
ROX's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is "in fiction" right?

It is all very well for such things to occur in fiction. Why not use in fictions?
Y. zeng's user avatar
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1 answer
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Could you please suggest the correct article usage here?

In the following sentence, do I need an article before "external influence"? The juvenile being more vulnerable to (an?) external influence such as numerous marketing campaigns tend to be ...
ZenBerry's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Countability of the word “gameplay”

I have searched all the online dictionaries, and they all say that the word “gameplay” is uncountable. The problem is that they don’t have the up-to-date meaning of the word “gameplay”. Can we use the ...
Ayden Ferguson's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
132 views

Do you pluralize the word 'garment'?

For example, do you say: 'I want to buy cloth garment', or 'I want to buy cloth garments'? I more specifically would like to know the answer to cases like this, when it's getting multiple or all of ...
Grali's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is a determiner, some or four, needed?

If there are 5 boys, 4 boys eat chicken, and 1 boy doesn't eat chicken, is saying just 'boys eat chicken' wrong?
user126927's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
45 views

Theoretically, can I count something several times?

As a picture above shows, we say 'there are three spotlights' even though the three spotlights meet in one point and make an one circle. Isn't only 'there is one spotlight' correct?
user126927's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
126 views

What statement is needed to hear

To hear someone describe it as '16 triangles,' from '1 triangle,' what should I say? I guess, 'how many triangles are there more exactly or more specifically?'
user126927's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
91 views

Why doesn't 'half' only modify countable nouns? [closed]

Why doesn't 'half' only modify countable nouns? According to the definition, isn't 'half' also number?
imaloser's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
399 views

Are 'complexity' and 'performance' countable or noncountable?

First of all, I am sorry to ask a question that is worth asking a lot of people, but I could not find an answer that was right for me, so I am posting a new question. In many scientific journals, e.g.,...
Danny_Kim's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
41 views

Can I express counting like this? [closed]

If there are 2 but there aren't 4, is 'half 4' valid phrase to express 2? Otherwise, is it valid only when there are 4?
gggo's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is “stock” used both countable and uncountable?

I learned that the word “stock” is uncountable when used to mean “the goods or merchandise kept on the premises of a business or warehouse and available for sale or distribution“ as in “This item is ...
Rio's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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"shorthand" - uncountable or not?

Cambridge dictionary lists "shorthand" as an uncountable word. (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/shorthand) However, I see a lot of its usage with the indefinite article. ...
user90726's user avatar
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