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  1. #1
    Snappy is offline Member
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    Service or Services?

    According to Newbury House Dictionary of American English, "service" is an uncountable noun when it means the care of a machine to keep it in good working order: When our oven broke, we called a repairman for service.


    According to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionar of English, "service" is a countable noun when it means an examination of a vehicle or machine followed by any work that is necessary to keep it operating well: I had taken the car in for a service.


    The above explanations confuse me.



    Are the following sentences okay?
    1. When our oven broke, we called a repairman for a service.
    2. I had taken the car in for service.
    3. That company provides after-sales service/after-sales services/an after-sales services.
    4. The same as 3. in sentence structure but "good" is added before "after-sales."

  2. #2
    jlinger is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Service or Services?

    If you consider the word as a countable noun, then there must be different services in mind. Muffler replacement, brake job, wheel alignments. You took your car in for a (one of those) service. The garage performs these after-sales services.

    Most of us don't limit the word in this way. To say the dealer provides after-sales services makes me wonder what services they do not provide. If they provide only the three listed above, then where do I go to get my oil changed?

    That's why you'll find most often that it's after-sales service (uncountable, a general term, covers everything required). And we ususally take our car in for service (not a service) because we know the repair shop will always check everything else, not just the original complaint, and try to sell us other services. Even if it's just to replace the windshield wipers. It's just another service (countable) that's part of their service (uncountable).

  3. #3
    Snappy is offline Member
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    Re: Service or Services?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    If you consider the word as a countable noun, then there must be different services in mind. Muffler replacement, brake job, wheel alignments. You took your car in for a (one of those) service. The garage performs these after-sales services.

    Most of us don't limit the word in this way. To say the dealer provides after-sales services makes me wonder what services they do not provide. If they provide only the three listed above, then where do I go to get my oil changed?

    That's why you'll find most often that it's after-sales service (uncountable, a general term, covers everything required). And we ususally take our car in for service (not a service) because we know the repair shop will always check everything else, not just the original complaint, and try to sell us other services. Even if it's just to replace the windshield wipers. It's just another service (countable) that's part of their service (uncountable).
    Thank you for your clear explanation. I got it.

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