GilI have two questions concerning the usage of the word “misgiving”. The word, according to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, can be used either as a countable noun or uncountable one. So my first question is when it is used as a countable noun and when as an uncountable one. The following are two sentences from the dictionary. “She eyed the distant shoreline with misgiving” (She had one concern). “Despite her misgivings (She had a number of concerns) about leaving the baby, she decided to accompany her husband.” And my second question is if the former “misgiving” is changed into misgivings, and the latter “misgivings” is trimmed into “misgiving”, will any change in the shade of the meanings of the two sentences arise? If so, what is it? Any help is appreciated. I owe much to all those who have helped me on this wonderful website.
If the first sentence is changed to "misgivings", it would change the meaning in that rather than her having only one concern, she now has more than one. Perhaps her only misgiving was the difficulity in getting off of the boat. By adding the "s" to this sentence there is an indication that she may also have migivings about her reception. The second sentence is the same in reverse. Originally, she had a number of misgivings about leaving the baby. By deleting the "s", her concerns were reduced to one.