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  1. #1
    Odessa Dawn's Avatar
    Odessa Dawn is offline Senior Member
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    Default How can indefinite article "a" comes with uncounted noun?

    Yoav, who is also from Eilat, said "I woke up from a deep sleep to the terrible sound of an explosion." Oren said he heard the sound of two rockets falling: "People on the street just froze in their tracks. It was frightening. Maybe it's time that sirens are installed in Eilat as well."



    ".I woke up from a deep sleep to the terrible sound of an explosion"



    Isn't that an error?

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How can indefinite article "a" comes with uncounted noun?

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post
    Yoav, who is also from Eilat, said "I woke up from a deep sleep to the terrible sound of an explosion." Oren said he heard the sound of two rockets falling: "People on the street just froze in their tracks. It was frightening. Maybe it's time that sirens are installed in Eilat as well."



    ".I woke up from a deep sleep to the terrible sound of an explosion"



    Isn't that an error?
    Some common expressions/idioms that include non-count nouns, especially those preceded by an adjective can/should include the indefinite article, "a/an", e.g. "a deep sleep", "a good education", "a heavy fog", "an extensive vocabulary" etc.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How can indefinite article "a" comes with uncounted noun?

    Countable & uncountable are not fixed absolute rules- when a dictionary labels a word, it doesn't mean that it will be used that way 100% of the time.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How can indefinite article "a" comes with uncounted noun?

    When you add descriptive information, many uncountable nouns become countable because you've isolated a specific type.

    We both like coffee.
    I like a mild-flavored coffee called "Breakfast Blend."
    She likes dark, bitter coffees that I find unpalatable.

    You need more sleep.
    He was in a deep sleep when the fire alarm sounded.
    I awoke from a restlless sleep.
    (Unlike "coffees" you can't really use "sleeps" but you can qualify sleep, and then you use "a/an.")
    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.

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