Questions tagged [countability]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Which one is more used: tomato or tomatoes / strawberry or strawberries?

When asking "Do you like...?" or saying "I like or I don't like...", is it more idiomatic to put "tomato" or "strawberry" in the singular or in the plural?
0
votes
1answer
13 views

Article in the question “do you like”. With or without articles

Do you like hamburger or do you like a hamburger ? Do you like orange or do you like an orange ? Which one of these above is correct ? Do we have to use a / an/ the articles after "like" or not ?
1
vote
1answer
44 views

“articulated in limb”

A line from the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence grates a bit with "articulated in limb". The artificial being is a reality of perfect simulacrum, articulated in limb, articulate in speech, and ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

I am suffering from a headache

1. I am suffering from a headache. 2. I am suffering from toothache. 3. I am suffering from backache. According to Raymond Murphy headache is countable because it is common, while toothache, ...
0
votes
1answer
192 views

Water, a water and waters

1. Water boils at 100°c. 2. Still waters run deep. Based on the two sentences we can say that water is both uncountable and countable.If water is countable "a water" should be there as in the case ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 views

Shall I use an article with the phrase “increasing trend”?

If I want to use the word increasing trend, shall I consider it countable or uncountable? i.e. should I write: With an increasing trend towards using the Internet, the need for security is becoming ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

When do we use the plural form of infrastructure?

I looked up the dictionary and it seems there's no plural form for the noun. However, some people use the word infrastructure with an s at the end. Is there a reason for doing this or is it just a ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

These or this two software?

When I type the following sentence, So, the engineers use these two software. Office Word wants to correct me as this two software Here I am referring two PC applications for example, AutoCAD ...
28
votes
5answers
9k views

Why is “deal 6 damage” a legit phrase?

I mean, if damage is countable, it should be Deal 6 damages. If it’s not countable, then this sentence should be wrong. Such as saying something like I drank 5 water. So... am I missing ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

“everything”: is it “it” or “they”

Which pronoun should be used with "everything"? I tend to believe that the following is correct: I will do everything as soon as it can be done. but the following also makes sense, considering ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Is “set” countable or not?

This question comes from this post. This figure is trying to illustrate 4 spaces defined by 4 different set of standard basis. In mathematics, the standard basis (also called natural basis) for ...
17
votes
1answer
919 views

“in 60 seconds or less” or “in 60 seconds or fewer”?

Tell me please which sentence is correct. I want you to articulate your ideas in 60 seconds or less. I want you to articulate your ideas in 60 seconds or fewer. The word second is a countable ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Are these two “Code Snippets”?

people use "Code Snippet" or "Code Snippets" everywhere. "Code Snippet" is a term used to describe a small portion of re-usable source code, machine code, or text. following lines of code comes from ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

'~ and many more.' vs. '~and much more.'

We have a grammar rule here. 'many more + a countable noun' and 'much more + an uncountable noun,' Right? But how about '~ and much more.' in the following sentence? Is it grammatically correct to ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Shouldn't it be “…garbage is dumped” instead of “are’?

Garbage is singular and I don't think quantity has something to do here. Woman: Talk dirty to me! Man: 14 billion pounds of garbage are dumped into the ocean every year. Most of it is plastic.
3
votes
2answers
43 views

countable counterpart of “fruit”

I was taught that the noun "fruit" is non-countable in English. If so, then what would be its countable counterpart? I am sure there should be one because the need for that is quite practical. Let'...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

migration - countable or uncountable

I found out that the word "migration" can be countable and uncountable according to oxford, but I didn't find any source explaining when to use countable or uncountable form. For example, is it ...
3
votes
2answers
47 views

How much shrimps?

if i want to ask about the amount of shrimps that a person eats (kilograms) per year, should i ask How many shrimps do you eat? - > I eat 1 kilo a year. Or maybe I should ask How much ...
2
votes
3answers
31 views

“as much as” or “as many as” forty degrees?

"the temperature can vary by as much as forty degrees" this sentence confused me, following as much as, there is plural word (forty degrees) but it was used with "as much as". Because there is a ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

“Such plea” “such waiver”: ungrammatical legal jargon?

I have encountered the noun phrase "such plea" in a lot of legal texts. Examples: In federal courts, such plea may be accepted as long as there is evidence that the defendant is actually guilty. ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

How (much/many) (note/notes) did you take?

When referring to information students write down in classes/lectures, we normally use the plural form of 'note' - 'notes' tends to be used. But I am not sure whether 'notes' is countable/uncountable ...
0
votes
1answer
155 views

Does “space” require an article?

We use "the" when there is only one of something. There's only one space. Therefore we have to say: There are millions of stars in the space. But I've seen that "space" is used without article. ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Development VS A development

This a brief description of a software project I was involved in: Project description: Development of market analysts's applications. [These applications allow you to ...] Is it correct to ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

A problem regarding numbers

Meaning of the word ground is reason. But in the following sentence Despite governments bringing in legislation towards this end, they have been struck down on the grounds that the additional ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

First “numbers” count nouns is plural or singular?

So I have this line of sentence: This only applies to the first 100 people signing up. When I see the word "applies", I am confused, is "first 100" plural, or singular? Or it should've been "apply"...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

“a little” with a countable noun? An example from a dictionary

I was looking into the difference between the countable and uncountable versions of the word "sleep" in the Cambridge dictionary online: [COUNTABLE] a period of sleeping: (UK) You must be ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Singular countable nouns after “there isn't any”

Can I ever use singular countable nouns after there isn't any? I have read many books that say any can be used with both singular and plural countable nouns. Though plural nouns is more more common in ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

How should I consider the word “scenery”

I think "scenery" is uncountable and the dictionary says it is. Nevertheless the sentence "What a beautiful scenery!" sounds correct to me. Should I rather say: "What some beautiful scenery!" ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

“Different influences”?

Then trade would have different influence on wages and employment. This is a line I am writing. I know that "influence" is both a count and noncount noun and that it is used mostly uncountably to ...
0
votes
2answers
30 views

“Through critical engagement with philosophical texts” or “Through a critical engagement with philosophical texts”

Through (a) critical engagement with philosophical texts, I examine the phenomena and provide an in-depth analysis. This is a line I am writing. The noun "engagement" seems tricky. Scrolling down ...
0
votes
2answers
325 views

“Comment on their character” or “comment on their characters”?

I would like to say a few words to comment on their character(s). I am wondering if "character" in the sense of qualities of personality is a count noun and can be pluralized. Macmillan and Cambridge ...
4
votes
2answers
409 views

Is “prose” ever a count noun?

He writes a crystalline prose (source) I find this countable usage of "prose" from the Oxford Dictionaries very unusual. I have never seen "prose" used countably. In contrast, several dictionaries ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

“past experience” or “past experiences”?

I need to learn from past experiences. It seems to me it makes sense to say "past experiences", since here experience refers an event that happened in the past. However, I do see a lot of occurrences ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Is “release” countable when used to mean “to let go” or “to make available”?

Is "release" a count noun or mass noun in the meaning of "let someone or something out of a place"? I see conflicting information from different dictionaries, even within the same dictionary. ...
6
votes
4answers
493 views

Have a good command of something – is “command” countable or uncountable?

I am confused, the following examples are from the Oxford dictionary, all from the same entry (2). Why in some cases it is "a command" and in some it is treated as uncountable? ‘he had a brilliant ...
3
votes
1answer
320 views

Can one reminiscence comprise many items?

Can a reminiscence hold many items? Example sentence: A reminiscence I'll never forget are the days I started noticing her.
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“oil” VS “oils” [duplicate]

Today’s hair care products, typically shampoos, usually incorporate natural oil for better smoothness. Today’s hair care products, typically shampoos, usually incorporate natural oils for better ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

What is the rationale for inserting 'a' before the noun 'value'?

Please kindly read the example: The Company shall not submit tender for new business having a value of less than some specific amount. However, when the noun 'value' is used to mean how much ...
1
vote
1answer
610 views

When is “dress” a mass noun?

I find the singular/uncountable usage of "dress" strange in this sentence. Expansive skirts on fashionable dress of the period proved the perfect blank canvas to showcase chintzes lush with ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

The countability of “memoir” and “stocktaking” in this sentence

I find two nouns in this sentence from a Time article very strange. The Atlantic columns are enriched with personal memoir, and a stocktaking, as Coates takes the reader through his own life and ...
3
votes
3answers
824 views

How to ‘guess’ if a noun is countable or uncountable?

Not all the time I have access to dictionaries. In school, I learned that abstract nouns are not countable; however, English is an ever-evolving language and nothing can be so certain here including ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Should “food” be considered many items or a single item in the following sentence?

Speaker A: I'll go buy some food at 7-Eleven. Speaker B: Wait what about those/the one I bought? (sushi, rice balls, and instant noodles) In this case, should food be considered a single item (...
2
votes
2answers
490 views

“paint”: mass noun vs count noun

Jackson Pollock dropped paints on canvas seemingly at random. (Source) I have always thought the noun "paint" is uncountable when referring to color/colored liquid/solid pigment. But the above ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Amount or number of books

While writing an essay, I discovered that my MacBook Ru-En dictionary suggests using amount speaking about books: So, that is what I have in my text: I state again that reading a lot has big ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

“A couple of weights” Is it grammatical to use “weight” as a countable noun?

I heard a line in the movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist Looks like you picked up a couple of weights, too, huh? The speaker of this line apparently suggests that the other party has gained weight....
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Countable “cable” versus uncountable “cable”

From Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary: [count] computer cables [noncount] We need more cable to hook up the computers. What's the difference between the countable "cable" and the ...
3
votes
2answers
58 views

Should the number of the object “colleges” follow the number of the subject?

In this sentence: We lost contact since we entered colleges. Should "colleges" be in the plural form, since these two persons entered two different colleges?
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Conscience - when is it countable noun?

The dictionary says ‘conscience’ can be both countable and uncountable noun. Then when it should be written with article ‘a’? “The best equipment ... is a conscience, common sense and health. ... ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

themselves (singular or plural)?

This is the sentence I came across, it's from a game. While Dwarven cannon were being loaded, others armed themselves with Elven steel and mail. To my understanding, themselves is a plural word, ...
19
votes
4answers
6k views

Can “staff” ever be pluralized?

I am under the impression that the word staff is uncountable/singular when referring to a collection of employees in a company. This is corroborated by some online sources I have found: Macmillan and ...