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  1. #1
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    Smile a sport vs sport

    What is the difference between a sport and sport? That is, with or without an article: This is a sport VS This is sport.

    One more thing. According to my dictionary, sport can be used to denote sporting activities collectively as in the world of sport. But then I'm more familiar with sports news than sport news. Are they interchangeable or is there a rule I'm not aware of?

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    Re: a sport vs sport

    Hi yuriya,

    Sports is one of the few nouns that takes a plural when used as an adjective.
    We have a shoe store or even a pie shop, but a sports car, a sports arena, etc. When they get to the segment on the new when they talk about how local teams did, it's called "the sports" and in the newspaper it's "the sports section."

    In the US, we would say "I enjoy sports" not "I enjoy sport."

    If you asked me to describe American football, I may say "It's a sport sort of like rugby." I would never say "It is sport" or "This is sport."

    So my short answer to you is "I wouldn't use 'sport' in the ways you have shown."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    yuriya's Avatar
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    Smile Re: a sport vs sport

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Hi yuriya,

    Sports is one of the few nouns that takes a plural when used as an adjective.
    We have a shoe store or even a pie shop, but a sports car, a sports arena, etc. When they get to the segment on the new when they talk about how local teams did, it's called "the sports" and in the newspaper it's "the sports section."

    In the US, we would say "I enjoy sports" not "I enjoy sport."

    If you asked me to describe American football, I may say "It's a sport sort of like rugby." I would never say "It is sport" or "This is sport."

    So my short answer to you is "I wouldn't use 'sport' in the ways you have shown."
    Thanks for sharing your insight. BTW, I'm reading this novel written by an American author(born in Connecticut, NYU graduate), he used the sentence (This is sport!), which kind of reminded me of the phrase "no games, just sports!"

  4. #4
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    Re: a sport vs sport

    There's also 'a sport' in the sense of a person who is fun to be with, or who is surprisingly permissive; this usually has the article: 'Can I have an ice-cream? Just this once? It is a holiday, after all. Go on, be a sport!'

    b

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    Smile Re: a sport vs sport

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    There's also 'a sport' in the sense of a person who is fun to be with, or who is surprisingly permissive; this usually has the article: 'Can I have an ice-cream? Just this once? It is a holiday, after all. Go on, be a sport!'

    b
    Thanks for your care and advice. How's the sentence (This is sport!) sound to your British ears?

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: a sport vs sport

    Quote Originally Posted by yuriya View Post
    Thanks for your care and advice. How's the sentence (This is sport!) sound to your British ears?
    If it means 'This is fun', then 'sport' is wrong. 'Sport' used to be used in this sense; the nursery rhyme 'Hey diddle diddle' has the words 'The little dog laughed to see such sport' (though more recent parents have changed it to 'The little dog laughed to see such fun').

    b

    PS 'This is sport' would work in a context meant 'sport' (in the sense of competition):
    'Don't take it so seriously. It's not a matter of life and death!'
    'No, it's more important than that. This is sport.'
    Last edited by BobK; 09-Jun-2010 at 12:48. Reason: Added PS

  7. #7
    yuriya's Avatar
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    Question Re: a sport vs sport

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    PS 'This is sport' would work in a context meant 'sport' (in the sense of competition):
    'Don't take it so seriously. It's not a matter of life and death!'
    'No, it's more important than that. This is sport.'
    Thanks. But then again, what's the difference of sport with or without the article (This is sport VS This is a sport)?

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    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: a sport vs sport

    Quote Originally Posted by yuriya View Post
    Thanks. But then again, what's the difference of sport with or without the article (This is sport VS This is a sport)?
    This is sport - general (this is competitive activity of some unspecified kind)
    This is a sport - specific

    b

  9. #9
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    Re: a sport vs sport

    How about that's sports? It sounds more AmE.

    That's sport would then sound more BrE. Am I right? Maybe it depends on who say it - ei difference between an upper class, a medium class and a low class.

    How is it in Australia or elswhere?
    Last edited by philadelphia; 09-Jun-2010 at 13:51.

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    Re: a sport vs sport

    Quote Originally Posted by philadelphia View Post
    How about that's sports? It sounds more AmE.

    That's sport would then sound more BrE. Am I right? Maybe it depends on who say it - ei difference between an upper class, a medium class and a low class.

    How is it in Australia or elswhere?
    (Br, not Am). I wouldn't be surprised if Br usage began to adopt the plural in due course - already a few English people are saying 'track and field' rather than 'athletics'. But, for now, 'That's sport' is the norm in Br Eng.

    b

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