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  1. #1
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    Would I sound like a foreigner if I keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns? That means adding "-s" to the "plural" using "these" and "those", and adding "a" or "an". Please tell if any native will ever make mistakes of using an uncountable noun as a countable noun. If they will never make mistakes with these words, then are there any words that they will?

    some examples:

    a bread, breads, some/these/those breads, these/those bread
    money, these/those money
    an advice, advices, some/these/those advices, these/those advice
    an information, informations, some these/those informations, these/those information
    a music, musics, some/these/those musics, these/those music

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    Default Re: to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen
    Would I sound like a foreigner if I keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?
    It depends on which nouns and who's doing the assessing or judgement. There are some native speakers, even ESOL teachers, who consider the nouns fishes, monies, fruits, breads, informations to be incorrect, whereas biologist, financial advisors, produce grocers, bakers, lawyers, respectively, wouldn't.

  3. #3
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default Re: to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    I used to think that when expressing certain a quantity, number, or amount of an uncountable noun, with demonstratives, "these" and "those" are used; but it seems that "this" and "that" are used with uncountable nouns, is this true?

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    Default Re: to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    For example ... ?

    Here are mine,

    EX: I'll take this (bar of) soap and those soaps.
    EX: Load this (pile of) furniture and *those furniture.

    The bits in brackets (...) are optional.

  5. #5
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default Re: to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    Really, I had never known that "this" and "that" instead of "these" and "those" are used with uncountable nouns until recently.

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    Default Re: to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    Glad we could help, dihen.

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    Default Re: to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    Very often it depends on what the nouns actually mean.

    For example, I drink lots of coffee; this morning I had two coffees. The first is uncountable, because I am thinking of coffee as a substance; the second is countable because I am thinking of cups of coffee.

    Going through your list:

    "bread" can sometimes be countable when it means "types of bread"
    "money" can be countable in certain contexts, usually legal, but this is considered by many to be pretentious.
    "information" is never countable. If you need to count information, you have to talk about "pieces of information".
    "music" is rarely, if ever, countable. I can't think of a sentence in which "some musics" would make sense.

    As for the items on Casiopea's list:

    "fish" is uncountable when it refers to the meat (as is "beef" and "pork"); it is countable when it refers to the creature. The plural can be either "fish" (i.e. the same as the singular) or "fishes"; in the phrase "there are plenty more fish in the sea", "fish" is countable and plural, but the plural form happens to be the same as the singular form. On the other hand, the pop group Catatonia used the alternative plural when they sang: "Luca Brasi, ah, he sleeps with the fishes" (i.e., "he drowned"). Some people regard "fishes" as non-standard.

    "fruit" can be countable when it refers to different kinds of fruit, as in "fruits of the forest", which is blackberries, blackcurrants and raspberries.

  8. #8
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default Re: to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    "music" is rarely, if ever, countable. I can't think of a sentence in which "some musics" would make sense.
    There was one time when I wanted to say something like "many piano music" (meaning "much? music written for the piano"), although I didn't say "musics". I wonder if any natives would say that.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    I don't think so, I would use 'a lot of piano music' or 'many pieces of piano music'.

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    Default Re: to keep using uncountable nouns as countable nouns?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen
    There was one time when I wanted to say something like "many piano music" (meaning "much? music written for the piano"), although I didn't say "musics". I wonder if any natives would say that.
    Take a look at how speakers are using the non-count => count rule.

    The following nouns are concrete, you can touch them: fishes, monies, fruits, breads. Those nouns are also countable;e.g., one fish, one bill, one fruit, one bread loaf/roll/slice.

    As for abstract nouns, like music, you can't get your hands on them to count them, unless, that is, you change the form;e.g., Semantic transfer: synonyms, information (meaning, document) => informations (documents). The same semantic transfer could apply to "music", but hasn't yet. I guess we'll just have to be patient.

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