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  1. #1
    sondra is offline Member
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    Default Uncountable nouns

    Hello,

    When is it possible to use an indefinite article before uncountable nouns? Only when they are defined in some way?
    Music, art, love, happiness
    advice, information, news(It was a good advice/information/news)
    furniture, luggage(an old furniture, a heavy luggage)
    rice, sugar, butter, water( a/one rice on my plate,)
    electricity, gas, power( a dangerous gas)
    money, currency

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Uncountable nouns

    You cannot normally have an indefinite article before these words: advice, information, news, furniture, luggage, money. You need to have a piece/bit of advice, etc, an item of furniture.

    If you have an indefinite article before these nouns, you normally mean a type/variety/brand/serving of:
    rice, sugar, butter, water; music, art, happiness, electricity, love.

    gas, power
    and currency are frequently used countably.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Uncountable nouns

    Some nouns are strictly countable, some are strictly uncountable, and some could be both countable and uncountable.

    Follow this link and download this file - it has everything you need:

    http://www.englishgrammarexpress.com...countables.pdf

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Uncountable nouns

    Well, the noun "love" can be both: "love" can be countable if you mean your lover.

    Usually, a good dictionary will specify whether a noun is countable or uncountable.

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    Default Re: Uncountable nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    Well, the noun "love" can be both: "love" can be countable if you mean your lover.
    Usually, a good dictionary will specify whether a noun is countable or uncountable.
    Indeed. My response was rather superficial.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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    Default Re: Uncountable nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    Follow this link and download this file - it has everything you need:

    http://www.englishgrammarexpress.com...countables.pdf
    Unfortunately the very first word in the 'countables' list was apple, and in the 'uncountables' list was water. Apple can be used uncountably, and water can be used countably. That link is even more superficial than my first post in this thread.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Uncountable nouns

    This has been an area I've been struggling with myself. I was wondering whether there is a comprehensive online source that gives us ALL of the nouns that can be both countable and uncountable. I'd greatly appreciate your help.

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    Default Re: Uncountable nouns

    'gas, power and currency are frequently used countably.'

    But if they are uncountable why are they used countably?


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    sondra is offline Member
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    Default Re: Uncountable nouns

    'Apple can be used uncountably, and water can be used countably.' Could you provide an example, please?

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    Default Re: Uncountable nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by sondra View Post
    'gas, power and currency are frequently used countably.'

    But if they are uncountable why are they used countably?

    Because they can mean things that are countable:

    gas as gasoline and helium as a gas;
    power as control and power as a mathematical term;
    currency as the state of being current and currency as dollars

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