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  1. #1
    tyrp is offline Junior Member
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    Default fish - countable or uncountable?

    Hello everyone,
    This time I've got stuck with the word 'fish'. When do we use it as a countable noun and when as an uncountable one? Is the situation with it the same as with 'fruit'? Which is correct:
    We caught much fish.
    We caught many fish.

    (if we use 'a lot' the problem will be done away with, but...)
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: fish - countable or uncountable?

    Why make life difficult for yourself? Most speakers would say 'a lot of'. We tend to use 'much' and 'many only in negative and interrogative sentences:

    When you are eating it, 'fish' is generally uncountable. When you are catching it, it is generally countable.

    There wasn't much fish in that fish soup.
    I didn't catch many fish last night - two trout and a crayfish.
    Last edited by 5jj; 03-Mar-2013 at 19:01.

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: fish - countable or uncountable?

    When you're catching it by a countable means (e.g. a rod and line), it's generally countable. Trawlers and drift-nets are different.

    b

  4. #4
    tyrp is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: fish - countable or uncountable?

    Thanks a million! Good clarifying examples from 5jj, and with BobK's explanation the whole thing has become quite clear to me. Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: fish - countable or uncountable?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    When you are eating it, 'fish' is generally uncountable. When you are catching it, it is generally countable.

    I didn't catch many fish last night - two trout and a crayfish.
    I wonder which of the following sentence is correct:

    1. How many fish did you catch?
    2. How many fishes did you catch?

    Thanks for your help.

  6. #6
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: fish - countable or uncountable?

    You never need to use 'fishes' in modern English.

    Click here to read about this in more detail and for links to many other threads on the topic.

    Rover

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