# Countable or Uncountable

• 17-Mar-2007, 09:55
mochaichai
Countable or Uncountable
a. How much do you weigh?
b. How many pounds do you weigh?
I weigh 123 lbs.

1. What is the native way to ask for the weight of a person?
2. If I were to raise this question, I would say #a. But I can't explain this. The answer of the weight is an exact number. It appears that I shouldn't have used "many" which is used with countable nouns. So, I come up with question #b.

• 17-Mar-2007, 10:31
Casiopea
Re: Countable or Uncountable
How much water do you drink?
How much do you drink?

How much food do you eat?
How much do you eat? <'food' is implied>

How much weight do you weight? <'weight' is redundant>
How much do you weight? <'weight' is implied>

How many pounds do you weight?
How many do you weight? <'pounds' is implied; but it's usually not omitted>

All the best. :-D
• 17-Mar-2007, 10:59
mochaichai
Re: Countable or Uncountable
So, weight is an uncountable noun and it is alright to give the answer in pound as a countable noun?
• 17-Mar-2007, 11:03
mochaichai
Re: Countable or Uncountable
Just note your sentence "How much do you weight?". Should it be "How much do you weigh?"

Right?
• 17-Mar-2007, 12:59
BobK
Re: Countable or Uncountable
Quote:

Originally Posted by mochaichai
Just note your sentence "How much do you weight?". Should it be "How much do you weigh?"

Right?

Yes. (Cut/paste is a terrible thing! ;-))

I'd reserve 'How much do you weigh?' for a survey. [Asking N people:] How much do you weigh? And you? etc.... If I just wanted to know about one person's weight I'd say 'What do you weigh' (and save the 'How much?' for a follow-up question in case the answer's surprising).

'How many pounds do you weigh?' would only sound sensible if the speaker meant '...[and I want the answer in pounds rather than kilos]'. And even in this case it would be more natural to ask 'What do you weigh in pounds?'

b
• 17-Mar-2007, 14:06
Love2Ami
Re: Countable or Uncountable
Quote:

Originally Posted by mochaichai
So, weight is an uncountable noun and it is alright to give the answer in pound as a countable noun?

Hi Teachers,

Could you please tell me whether it is acceptable to use "alright"? Does it need to spell out as "All right" to be grammatically correct? In other words, we would never use, "alright"?

Thanks & all the best :-D
• 17-Mar-2007, 15:04
Casiopea
Re: Countable or Uncountable
Quote:

Originally Posted by Love2Ami
Could you please tell me whether it is acceptable to use "alright"? Does it need to spell out as "All right" to be grammatically correct? In other words, we would never use, "alright"?

The American Heritage Book of English Usage (1996) says,
"...if you decide to use alright, especially in formal writing, you run the risk that some of your readers will view it as an error, while others may think you are willfully breaking convention."

Source: § 23. all right / alright. 3. Word Choice. The American Heritage Book of English Usage. 1996
The University of Victoria (Canada) Writer's Guide (1995) says,
"Alright is currently unacceptable as a written word, though the situation is likely to change. In the meantime, write it as two separate words."

Source: The UVic Writer's Guide: All right / Alright
The Columbia Guide to Standard American English s(1993) ays,
"All right is the only spelling Standard English recognizes."

Source: all right, alright. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993
The Hutchinson Encyclopaedia, UK, (2007) says,
"The answers are all right may mean that all of them are correct or that they are satisfactory on the whole. Some people would like to use alright to avoid confusion, but all right is considered correct. It is possible that alright will one day be accepted (as already and altogether have been), but for now it is better to rewrite the sentence: all the answers are right or the answers are satisfactory. "

Source: Helicon Publishing
The Word Detective sums it up with,
'The answer to whether "alright" is proper usage depends on whom you ask. The eminent English grammarian H.W. Fowler thought not, in no uncertain terms. Writing in "Modern English Usage" in 1926, Fowler let it be known that "The words should always be written separate; there are no such forms as 'all-right,' 'allright,' or 'alright'...."

About sixty years after Fowler stated his opinion, my own parents, William and Mary Morris, posed the question of "alright" to a panel of usage experts they surveyed for their "Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage." The panel agreed overwhelmingly with Fowler -- 86 percent said that they wouldn't use "alright" as an adjective ("He's alright"), and 75 percent rejected its use as an adverbial phrase ("Alright, I'll do it").
On the other hand, Bergen and Cornelia Evans, in their "Dictionary of Contemporary Usage," point out that there's a case to be made for "alright." Using "alright" as a synonym for "O.K." or "satisfactory," they note, "would allow us to make the distinction between 'the answers are alright' (satisfactory) and 'the answers were all right' (every one of them)."'

Source: Alright, Demeaning Demeanor, A Little Latin Goes a Long Way, A Nice Question, Is OK Alright? and Beyond the Pale.
Wikipedia says,
"Even though it has appeared in many works of accomplished authors, the use of "alright" in formal writing is generally frowned upon and may be perceived as purposefully breaking convention."

Source: alright: Definition and Much More from Answers.com
All the best. :-D
• 17-Mar-2007, 16:39
mochaichai
Re: Countable or Uncountable
Quote:

Originally Posted by BobK
'What do you weigh?"

Sorry, I don't quite get this. If asked "how much ... weigh", the answer is a figure. If asked "what ... weigh", what's likely to be the answer to this question?
• 17-Mar-2007, 17:51
BobK
Re: Countable or Uncountable
'what's likely to be the answer to this question?'

A quantity. In some countries, a number of kilos, in some countries a number of pounds, in some countries a number of stone (no s) and a number of pounds ("pounds" not expressed).

Example:

'What do you weigh?'
'Twelve stone ten'. [written as 12 st 10 lb]

b

ps
(1 stone = 14 pounds; the UK may be the only place that still uses this measure.)

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