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  1. #1
    btech86 is offline Newbie
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    countable or uncaountable?

    Hello everyone;

    I really don't know if 'Protein' as a substance that exists in some foods is count or non- count ; for example:" How much protein?/how many proteins? does Chocolate puffies have?"????????

  2. #2
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: countable or uncaountable?

    Protein is not countable. How much...

    (I expect something called "Chocolate Puffies" has very little in the way of protein.)
    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
    btech86 is offline Newbie
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    Re: countable or uncaountable?

    ok, but how about this dictionary example(Longman Contemporary) "Although guayule latex contains fewer proteins than hevea, manufacturers should still wash it well, Cornish said." in this example 'protein is treated as countable, that's what confuses me. please help!

  4. #4
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    Re: countable or uncaountable?

    Latex might be made of lots of different proteins, different molecules of different proteins etc. However, when you're talking about food, "protein" is uncountable.

    The four main constituents of food which people tend to take notice of, and which appear on the nutritional information on packaging, are a mix of countable and uncountable.

    How many calories are there in a chocolate biscuit?
    How much fat is there in a chocolate biscuit?
    How much protein is there in a chocolate biscuit?
    How many carbs (carbohydrates) are there in a chocolate biscuit?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
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    Re: countable or uncaountable?

    Although in everyday usage (usually referring to diet) protein is treated as an uncountable substance, there is also a scientific meaning of protein. In this meaning there are gazillions of distinct protein molecules, each protein different from the others. That is where the plural proteins comes in. It probably should be classified as scientific jargon, but I am used to it and I suspect many others are too, When you see the plural it means the scientific meaning is implied.
    Last edited by probus; 24-Dec-2012 at 07:39. Reason: try to improve meaning

  6. #6
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    Re: countable or uncaountable?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Although in everyday usage (usually referring to diet) protein is treated as an uncountable substance, there is also a scientific meaning of protein. In this meaning there are gazillions of distinct protein molecules, each protein different from the others. That is where the plural proteins comes in. It probably should be classified as scientific jargon, but I am used to it and I suspect many others are too, When you see the plural it means the scientific meaning is implied.
    It would be a very sad day when "proteins" has to become scientific jargon because native speakers have no idea what it means. I learnt that in sixth grade.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: countable or uncaountable?

    Many nouns have both countable and uncountable forms. Please think of the dictionary label as a tool rather than an absolute rule.

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