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  1. #1
    its_vix is offline Newbie
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    Talking Determiners and uncountable nouns

    Just wondering what you think are some of the biggest problems that come up when teaching this to pre-intermediate students?

    Are there any good ways to help make it stick? Or things that should be revised first?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Mehrgan's Avatar
    Mehrgan is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Determiners and uncountable nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by its_vix View Post
    Just wondering what you think are some of the biggest problems that come up when teaching this to pre-intermediate students?

    Are there any good ways to help make it stick? Or things that should be revised first?

    Thanks

    Hi,
    I'm interested to check whether this is right. I've heard, if we break an object, or something, into pieces, or cut it, devide it into two pieces,etc. and the new items still have the same quality, or can be recognised as the original material, then it's an uncountable noun! For example, if you cut some bread into pieces, the new items are still "bread". So, "bread" is uncountable. While, if you break a pen, the new items are not pen any more...

    This is what once I heard would be great when teaching countable/uncountable nouns.

    (Other examples would be: milk, sugar, chalk, etc. for which this rule works.)


    Hope somebody will corrcet me, please!
    Last edited by Mehrgan; 09-Jan-2011 at 00:00. Reason: I've added some examples...

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Determiners and uncountable nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Hi,
    I've heard, if we break an object, or something, into pieces, or cut it, divide it into two pieces,etc. and the new items still have the same quality, or can be recognised as the original material, then it's an uncountable noun! For example, if you cut some bread into pieces, the new items are still "bread". So, "bread" is uncountable. While, if you break a pen, the new items are not pen any more...
    That's a new one to me.Thank you. I haven't had time to think about it properly, but it certainly seems an interesting idea, though I envisage problems with such recurring items as advice, news, information, etc

  4. #4
    Mehrgan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Determiners and uncountable nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    That's a new one to me.Thank you. I haven't had time to think about it properly, but it certainly seems an interesting idea, though I envisage problems with such recurring items as advice, news, information, etc


    Thanks a lot for considering it. Seemingly, it doesn't work for abstract nouns. It sounds to be helpful, at least in dealing with a few objects learners see around a lot during a day.


    Cheers!

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Determiners and uncountable nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Hi,
    I'm interested to check whether this is right. I've heard, if we break an object, or something, into pieces, or cut it, devide it into two pieces,etc. and the new items still have the same quality, or can be recognised as the original material, then it's an uncountable noun! For example, if you cut some bread into pieces, the new items are still "bread". So, "bread" is uncountable. While, if you break a pen, the new items are not pen any more...

    This is what once I heard would be great when teaching countable/uncountable nouns.

    (Other examples would be: milk, sugar, chalk, etc. for which this rule works.)


    Hope somebody will corrcet me, please!
    I don't think it works.
    If you break a 12-inch ruler in two, you get two six-inch rulers, with the same qualities (apart from length) as the original. That doesn't make "ruler" uncountable. If you call the ruler 'wood' and break it in half, it's still wood, which is uncountable.
    There are various terms for the same thing which behave differently. If you rip paper apart, you still have paper. If you rip a [paper] tissue apart, you don't still have a tissue.
    If you break a plant in half (for propagation), you get two plants. If you similarly break vegetation apart, you get vegetation. But they are the same thing - just with one countable name and one uncountable name.

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