## Re: Determiner

Originally Posted by jack
No, I don't think so....
"I like eating apple" is okay.
"I must buy some cable" is okay.
"I want to use computer" is wrong.

1. We've put all our records on (a/the) computer. (What about here? What does it mean without the determiner? Also, how come I don't have to use the determiner?)
We sometimes omit it for convenience. Consider the following example....

I work for a small company. A colleague and I decided to computerise many of the documents required for our work. We have divided the work between us, and we have used our home computers, in our spare time. We have computerised so many documents that we can't always remember which one of us has which documents. There are still some documents we haven't computerised yet.

Supposing our boss were to ask me if we had copies of some particular documents. I know that we have copied these documents, but I don't know, offhand, which of us has which documents. So I say "we have them on computer."

I don't say "the computer", because there is more than one computer in this situation. (My boss would assume that 'the computer' meant the work computer, which is not the case.)

I don't say "a computer", because some of the documents might be on my computer, and some of them might be on my colleagues computer.

I don't say 'computers', because the documents might all be on my computer.

What should I say to my boss? "We have the documents. They are either on my computer, on Arthur's computer, or some of the documents might be on my computer, whereas others might be on Arthur's computer, but we definitely have all the documents, whether on one computer or the other."

No. My boss is a very busy lady. She doesn't care which computer (or computers) the documents are on, and she doesn't have time to listen to me rambling like this.

I can just say "We have them on computer."

Even if I knew, for a fact, that all the documents are on my computer, it isn't necessary to say so.

2. They stayed with us for a short time. (Is 'time' countable? How come I need 'a' here?)
You ask some very interesting questions, Jack....
I think I'll let somebody else answer this one.
Last edited by TheMadBaron; 22-Nov-2004 at 19:26.

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## Re: Determiner

Thanks.

1. She doesn't care which computer (or computers) the documents are on. (So 'computer' here is uncountable right?)

## Re: Determiner

Wrong. I think the noun 'computer' is always countable, as is 'file'. 'On computer' and 'on file' are idiomatic.
Last edited by TheMadBaron; 23-Nov-2004 at 10:46.

4. ## Re: Determiner

Originally Posted by jack
2. They stayed with us for a short time. (Is 'time' countable? How come I need 'a' here?
a time is shortened from a period of time, and a short time is shortened from a short period of time. 'period of' has been omitted.

It's 'period' that's countable; the determiner 'a' modifies 'period'; and the adjective 'short' modifies 'period'.

EX: a short period of time.

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## Re: Determiner

Thanks.

I can just say "We have them on computer."
1. We have them on computer. (So 'on computer' is idiomatic?)

We sometimes omit it for convenience.
We've put all our records on computer.
2. So is 'computer' uncountable here?

Are these correct? What do they mean?
3. Some kind of joke. (If this is correct, why? Isn't 'joke' countable?)
4. Some kind of a joke.

You can maximize your system performance with Monster program.
5. So 'program' is uncountable here right?

6. Do you have any program. (So can 'program' be uncountable here? If not, why? #5 can be uncountable? Is it because 'any' is plural so 'program' needs to be plural as well?)
Last edited by jack; 24-Nov-2004 at 08:41.

6. ## Re: Determiner

1. It's not idiomatic. 'computer' refers to a medium; e.g., on tape, on paper, on TV; 2. same as 1.; 3. correct; 4. correct; 5. It's a name. It should be capitalized: Monster Program; 6. It means, any one program.

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## Re: Determiner

'computer' refers to a medium
1. We have them on computer. (We don't have a determiner here because it refers to a medium? So 'computer' is not countable here? Why is it not countable?)

What do these mean?
2. We have them on computer.
3. We have them on a computer.
4. We have them on computers.

Are these correct? What do they mean?
5. Why is it not countable?
6. Why it is not countable? (This should be a satement right? For eg. : This is why it is not countable.

Are these correct?
7. Why isn't it countable?
8. Why is not it countable? (Is this correct? It sounds really odd? If it is not correct, how do I fix it?)

8. ## Re: Determiner

1. I believe it's because 'on computer' refers to a general location;e.g, on file 2.; 3. one computer; 4. more than one computer; 7. OK; 8. 'not' modifies 'is', so it should be placed before 'is'.

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## Re: Determiner

7. OK; 8. 'not' modifies 'is', so it should be placed before 'is'.
Is this how the question looks like:
1. Why is it not countable?

Are these correct?
7. Why isn't it countable?
8. Isn't=Is not
9. Why is not it countable? (How come #7 is correct but #9 is wrong?)

1. I believe it's because 'on computer' refers to a general location;e.g, on file
10. You can go to customer service and ask for it. (Is this correct? If not, why? How come 'on computer' is correct but this is not?)
11. You can go the customer service and ask for it.
12. You can go to Customer Service and ask for it. ('customer service' is a name, so I don't need to use a determiner here right?)
Last edited by jack; 04-Dec-2004 at 18:43.

10. ## Re: Determiner

Originally Posted by jack
Is this how the question looks like:
1. Why is it not countable?
Try, Is this how the question should look? or Is this what the question should look like?

Originally Posted by jack
Are these correct?
7. Why isn't it countable?
8. Isn't=Is not
9. Why is not it countable? (How come #7 is correct but #9 is wrong?)
9. is incorrect. Here's why:

Question Formation
Statement: It is not countable.
Add WH-word: Why it is not countable.
Subject-Verb Inversion: Why is it not countable.

Notice that 'not' doesn't change its position.

Originally Posted by jack
10. You can go to customer service and ask for it. (Is this correct? If not, why? How come 'on computer' is correct but this is not?)
11. You can go the customer service and ask for it.
12. You can go to Customer Service and ask for it. ('customer service' is a name, so I don't need to use a determiner here right?)
11. is incorrect. If you're going to use 'the', then you're going to have to make customer service specific, like this, the customer service desk.

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