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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default We give them good educations.

    We give them good educations.

    I read this sentence from the Corpus of American English. Does the sentence sound good with 'educations' in the plural? Does 'educations' mean 'kinds of education'?

    Could I ask native speakers to help me please? Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: We give them good educations.

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    We give them good educations.

    I read this sentence from the Corpus of American English. Does the sentence sound good with 'educations' in the plural? Does 'educations' mean 'kinds of education'?

    Could I ask native speakers to help me please? Thank you in advance.
    For me it doesn't sound good, education is uncountable. I would say; 'We give them a good education'. I don't want to argue with Americans about this; if they say it is correct, then it's correct for them. Not for me.

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    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: We give them good educations.

    I suspect as always the full sentence.context would make it clear what was meant.

  4. #4
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: We give them good educations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    I suspect as always the full sentence.context would make it clear what was meant.
    I found there are more than 200 sentences with 'educations' in the Corpus of American English. Even with the context, it's difficult for me to understand why they use the plural. I need your further help. Thank you again.
    This is the context of 'We give them good educations':


    Date2008 (080415) TitleGenetically Engineering a ^Perfect^ BabySourceTalk of the Nation 8:00 PM EST

    Expanded context: up the door to a society of the genrich and the naturals, and I think we've been working for so many centuries to address inequalities and to establish civil rights and to increase our toleration of differences. # And I think, you know, to say that we're going to go down this road to address dyslexia, I mean, we know if we want to improve the lives of our children, I think we know how to do that. We give kids basic medical care. We give them loving families. We give them good educations. That's the way to improve the lives of children, not to be fiddling around with their genes. #0:6: Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society in Oakland, California. Also with us, Ronald Green, professor for the study of ethics and human values at Dartmouth College, and the author of " Babies by Design: The Ethics of Genetic Choice. " You're listening to Talk of the Nation from NPR News. Let's see if we can get Richard on the ...
    Last edited by joham; 17-Jul-2009 at 07:39.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: We give them good educations.

    Even with the expanded context there is no good reason to use educations,
    it is wrong. All that can be said, I suppose, is that some people speak like that.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: We give them good educations.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    For me it doesn't sound good, education is uncountable.
    Do you use "an education"? I want my child to have a good education.
    Most of the uncountable nouns I can think of don't use the indefinite article.

  7. #7
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: We give them good educations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Do you use "an education"? I want my child to have a good education.
    Most of the uncountable nouns I can think of don't use the indefinite article.
    Are you saying that, "I want my child to have a good education." is wrong?

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: We give them good educations.

    American here. I would not have used the plural there.

    I could think of times when you might use "educations" - a father talking about his many children who all went to different schools to study different things, talking about many "educations" he paid for.

    After paying for three sets of orthodontia, four Ivy League educations, and two wedding receptions, my children are going to support me in my old age. Good thing there's a lawyer, a doctor, and a CEO in the mix.


    As for the article, even without an adjective (a common case when a usually article-less noun takes an article, e.g., nice to see a smiling Susan this morning instead of the stormy Susan who went to bed last night), it takes an article: It's important to get an education. Without an education, it's hard to advance. The education I received there was top-notch.

    {not a teacher}

  9. #9
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: We give them good educations.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I don't want to argue with Americans about this
    You are not allowed not to. It is part of life's rich tapestry. Oh, sorry, Ray is an Aussie.

  10. #10
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: We give them good educations.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Are you saying that, "I want my child to have a good education." is wrong?
    No, I consider it right, and I consider "educations" right.
    I was asking indirectly whether you consider "an education" right, in spite of your position that "education" is an uncountable noun, analogous, say, to "information". * an information. (Actually, now that I check back, I asked you directly).
    I was further implying that there might be an inconsistency in adopting that position. And to save a bit of back and forth, can I ask you to give some similar examples of non-count nouns that take an indefinite article, but not a plural (like 'education).
    Last edited by Raymott; 16-Jul-2009 at 17:58.

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