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Questions tagged [countable-nouns]

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101
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10answers
21k views

Why do we say “I love cake” but “I love cars”?

Why do some nouns need to be in the plural for that structure to work, while some are ok in the singular? E.g.: I love pizza, I love beef, etc. I always thought it was a matter of countable x ...
20
votes
10answers
6k views

“She speaks an impeccable English” vs “She speaks impeccable English”

What is the difference between these sentences? She speaks an impeccable English. She speaks impeccable English. I understand both are correct but is one simply more specific because of ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

Singular or plural usage for 'face' in the sentence

We should wash our face with clean water. We should wash our faces with clean water. Which is more natural, 'face' or 'faces'? Does the plural subject 'we' require a plural noun in the object?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Understanding, countable or not?

Read the sentence below- "Christine Sterling’s determination to repackage her Olvera Street concept into something Chinese has been matched by her total lack of understanding of our culture, ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why some countable nouns treated as uncountable?

since the inception of the iPod we have seen numerous audio formats come to market yet only a select few of them have been adopted on a mass scale. (Source: What is the best audio format? - ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Formally can money be in a plural form (monies) or not?

I have studied that money is a mass noun, but now I saw that money can be in plural form as well. So I am confused. when we say on something that it's uncountable, then should it not be in one form ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it correct to say “There are 5 hepatitis B viruses in his liver”?

Ok, in this dictionary, virus is a countable noun. All the tomato plants are infected with a virus. But why rice is an uncountable noun while virus is a countable noun though it is so much harder ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

Confusion about 'less' and 'fewer' in sentences with countable/uncountable nouns

There were no less (or no fewer) than fifty persons in the dining hall. In 25 words or fewer/less, please summarize what took place. fewer / less calories? The hamburgers should contain no less/fewer ...
7
votes
2answers
176 views

Why don't we use “the” before “third gear”?

Or fifth, fourth, whatever. Omitting the article would make sense if it were "gear five". But with gear being a countable noun, I'm totally stumped. For example, Whenever I start my car I switch ...
7
votes
3answers
474 views

How to distinguish countable and uncountable senses?

The general rule is to use an article for countable nouns (i.e. nouns permitting a plural) and no article for uncountable nouns. However, some nouns may be countable in one sense and uncountable in ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

subject-verb agreement with “a hundred”

Which is correct? There is a hundred of people in the hall. OR There are a hundred of people in the hall. a hundred means one hundred but determiner ‘a’ is singular. Which verb ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Isn't it wrong to use the word “homage” as a countable noun in this book?

I came across this line in the book Ship of Theseus(p.14): It's just an homage to his writing. (the hand-written notes filling the book's margins are printed and an inseparable part of the book.) ...
5
votes
2answers
384 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

“much of the sights” or “many of the sights”?

In this conversation, two people are talking about travelling when one of them says the following sentence: I went to Paris once, but I didn't see MUCH OF the sights. I think "sights" in this ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Should we say “fruits and vegetables” or “fruit and vegetables”?

Which one of the following is correct? fruits and vegetables fruit and vegetables Could you please explain it to me?
5
votes
1answer
3k views

A noise or any noise(s)?

In Longman's Common Mistakes in English Grammar Practice, 6th Ed. by T.J. Fitikides (2002), at #251 the author recommends using make a noise instead of make noise. The example sentences go like this: ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Why is 'for examples' wrong?

If you want to take an example or several examples, you use the phrase 'for example,' not 'for examples.' Though the word 'example' is a countable noun, why is 'for examples' wrong?
4
votes
3answers
532 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

If it's “double” why is it singular?

A double number is two identical numbers, e.g. 007 (double O seven) A double chin is someone who appears to have two chins A double feature is a program showing two feature-length movies A double D is ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

So, the sentence “I read book” is wrong, isn't it?

Found this information on the internet Uncount nouns You cannot say a/an with an uncount noun. You cannot put a number in front of an uncount noun. (You cannot make an uncount noun plural.) ...
4
votes
4answers
229 views

Using “fashion” countably vs. uncountably: “in (a) timely/similar/dramatic fashion”

I have always thought fashion is countable when used to signify a particular manner (e.g., I will get that done in a timely fashion), but I just encountered these sentences in the Oxford Dictionaries (...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

Should there be an article before “cell phone”?

From an online article: Many drivers tool around town or take long drives with cell phone in hand, one eye on the road but their mind clearly someplace else. Since "cell phone" is of course ...
4
votes
1answer
406 views

How to use a word when its meaning is both countable & uncountable?

A meaning of a noun in English may be both countable & uncountable. For example, The Longman dictionary says: fruit [countable, uncountable]: something that grows on a plant, tree, or bush,...
3
votes
3answers
13k views

Money - Countable or Uncountable noun

This page suggests that we use much with only uncountable nouns whereas the use of many/several is limited to countable nouns only. So I conclude that money is uncountable noun as I've heard people ...
3
votes
5answers
14k views

“making noise” or “make a noise”?

I was beginning to get confused on this sentence structure. I wager a noise is not singular or is it? Stop making a noise Stop making noise Which of these is a good way to present this situation?...
3
votes
4answers
12k views

If 'Social Media' is uncountable and plural, why do we say 'Social media is…'?

This all began when I saw Grammarly giving me a red line on the verb has. My sentence, as I remember roughly, was... Social media has all potential to make your products and services popular The ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

“There is a fog.” Is the noun used correctly?

My kid saw the scene and told me, There is a fog. Do we use "a" before fog?
3
votes
2answers
173 views

Isn't “fog” uncountable when referring to a weather phenomenon?

I came across an example sentence on Merriam Webster: a climate marked by heavy fogs Isn't fog a noncount noun when used to refer to weather, according to the Cambridge Dictionary. The ODO and the ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

should it be ice cream or ice creams?

Should the term ice cream, in the sentence below, be countable or uncountable? The bowl consists of mini scoops of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. The bowl consists of mini ...
3
votes
1answer
27k views

A lot of experience or a lot of experiences?

When I'm in a job review, and I want to say that I'm experienced in something, what is the correct form to say it? (Of course, except of "I am experienced" etc.) 1) I have a lot of experiences ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

One/Two onion rings?

When making an order, is it correct to say the following? If so, Why? If not what is the correct way? Can I get one onion rings? In case you want two servings, Can I get two onion rings?
3
votes
1answer
356 views

Can I say 'that many'?

Me: I need some mangoes. My friend: Take these mangoes. There are 85. Me: I don't need that many. 'that many' is correct? Like 'this much'/'that much', 'that easy', 'that thin'
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Search of fertile land or lands?

In this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=40&v=iWDKsHm6gTA It says: Groups of people that shared a single language and culture often split into smaller tribes, going ...
3
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
1answer
75 views

how much deposit?

Dictionaries typically say the noun deposit is countable, but a Google search shows there are some instances of "how much deposit" on some British and Australian sites. Do you think it's natural to ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“Companies will increase their capacity” or “capacities”

Companies will increase their production capacity in 2017. Companies will increase their production capacities in 2017. A Google search shows that "capacity" is more common. But I wonder, would ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Should a kind of determiner be used before the word “unit”?

Please look at the following sentence. I wouldn't say this that way and would consider a kind of determiner that should be used before the word "unit". What about you please? Sort the telemetry ...
3
votes
2answers
26 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
65 views

‘A fried rice’, ‘ fried rice’, or ‘ a bowl of fried rice’

I came across this sentence in an English book: A fried rice is 2,500 dong. I know that rice is a mass noun so it cannot be counted, and if ‘fried rice’ refers to the name of a dish, it is correct ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

no car/ pens, not a car/ a pen/ any pens

I was wondering about the combinations of 'not,' 'no,' 'any' and 'car'/'pen' for expressing John has zero cars/pens. With 'no,' if you thought people normally had one item per person, you would use ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

beat somebody to 'a' pulp ( why is pulp countable here?)

I just stumbled over this phrase and I'd like to know why the rule of countable/uncountable nouns doesn't seem to apply here? Pulp is not a countable unit.
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Is 'subject-predicate form' to be used as countable or uncountable noun?

Willard Quine writes about Kant's formulation of an analytic statement that 'it limits itself to statements of subject-predicate form'. In this context I want to ask a question about the form - what ...
3
votes
1answer
380 views

Usage of “much” instead of “many” with countable noun (e.g. Americans)

I found the sentence below in the GMAT exam preparation book: However much Americans may agree that the financing of elections with special interest money undermines democracy and that campaign ...
3
votes
2answers
514 views

Is less votes correct?

One article today said that Trump could win even if had less votes. I search in google and I see that "less votes" is common. Is it correct? As vote is countable, it should be fewer votes... ...
2
votes
1answer
308 views

Why can “core” be a plural form of “core”?

According to WordHippo: The noun core can be countable or uncountable. In more general, commonly used, contexts, the plural form will also be core. However, in more specific contexts, ...
2
votes
2answers
264 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
298 views

Can we say 'a love' in a sentence?

I learned that we can't place the indeterminate article 'a' or 'an' in front of an uncountable noun. For example, a bread, an information, are both incorrect. But I think that we can put 'a' or 'an' ...
2
votes
1answer
676 views

paddy field - is it countable or uncountable noun?

In some areas, **some fields could be found among the river, houses, etc. Could I say "some paddy fields"?
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Neutral accent or a neutral accent (countable or not)

In the context of the sentence below, which should be applied so it's grammatical. The only thing that is good about our country (as a single noun) is our spoken English, we've got neutral accent. ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...