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Thread: a/the snow

  1. #1
    wowenglish1 is offline Senior Member
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    Default a/the snow

    I'd like to know the difference between "1" and "2".
    1. There is a snow.
    2. There is the snow.

  2. #2
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Talking Re: a/the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I'd like to know the difference between "1" and "2".
    1. There is a snow.
    2. There is the snow.
    I'd rather say, There is a flake of snow on my hand. Well, actually There was one.

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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: a/the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I'd like to know the difference between "1" and "2".
    1. There is a snow.
    2. There is the snow.
    'snow' is uncountable, WE. We see it as a single mass so we don't say 'a snow'. There are counters for these uncountables, Engee has given one.

    Other are lots of, piles of, heaps of, big drifts of, tons of, a mittful of,

    Using 'the' is also not common unless we are referring to some specific snow. Usually we just say,

    There is snow outside/on the ground/etc.

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    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: a/the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    'snow' is uncountable, WE. We see it as a single mass so we don't say 'a snow'. There are counters for these uncountables, Engee has given one.

    Other are lots of, piles of, heaps of, big drifts of, tons of, a mittful of,

    Using 'the' is also not common unless we are referring to some specific snow. Usually we just say,

    There is snow outside/on the ground/etc.
    I know @There will be heavy rain/ snow tomorrow@ is correct. But some of my friends insisted that @There will be a heavy rain/ snow tomorrow@ is also correct.
    Could you please tell me if the use of @it@ here is right? Thank you very much.

  5. #5
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: a/the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    I know @There will be heavy rain/ snow tomorrow@ is correct. But some of my friends insisted that @There will be a heavy rain/ snow tomorrow@ is also correct.
    Could you please tell me if the use of @it@ here is right? Thank you very much.
    Those two are alright, Joham. It's simply holds a meaning like,

    There will be a heavy rain [storm]

    There will be a heavy snow [storm] tomorrow.

    In speech, we do often drop some counters, eg.

    I'll have a milk = a glass/carton/bottle of milk

    Give me a beer. = Give me a bottle/mug/glass of beer.


    See the following for some examples of "a heavy rain".

    "a heavy rain" - Google Search

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    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: a/the snow

    I see. a heavy snow= a heavy snowstorm. But dictionaries like OXFORD, LONGMAN, CAMBRIDGE just do not say snow can be used as a countable noun. At least they might say: a heavy snow (spoken), right?

    Thank you very much, sir.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: a/the snow

    They would not say, "a heavy snow."

    They might say, "We experienced a heavy snowfall last night."

    Snow is falling.

    Heavy snow buildup on the roads can make driving treacherous.

    "It's SNOWING!"

    "Heavy snow has caused roofs to cave-in at many mobile home parks across the area."


    Wholeman

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    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: a/the snow

    I agree with Wholeman that we would be unlikely to say 'a heavy snow', though Cambridge does give an example of the plural 'many heavy snows'. In British English, we do use the pluarl; winter snows, etc, but a snow would be unusual IMO.

    PS Wholeman, would you say 'winter snows' in American English?

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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: a/the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I agree with Wholeman that we would be unlikely to say 'a heavy snow', though Cambridge does give an example of the plural 'many heavy snows'. In British English, we do use the pluarl; winter snows, etc, but a snow would be unusual IMO.

    PS Wholeman, would you say 'winter snows' in American English?
    While, for example 'a heavy snow' isn't used with the same frequency as 'a heavy rain', it certainly is possible. Here's a google search where I included 'last' after 'snow' to exclude the myriad possibilities; we see it being used in TIME magazine.

    "a heavy snow last" - Google Search

    and by,

    We had a heavy snow last night, and I am one of the few faculty in this building this. morning. I am proud to be a Visiting Professor at the University of ...

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    Default Re: a/the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I agree with Wholeman that we would be unlikely to say 'a heavy snow', though Cambridge does give an example of the plural 'many heavy snows'. In British English, we do use the pluarl; winter snows, etc, but a snow would be unusual IMO.

    PS Wholeman, would you say 'winter snows' in American English?
    Okay...

    The heavy winter snows were responsible for the poor conditions of our highways this spring.



    Wholeman

    BTW, you might wish to check that answer.

    "We had a heavy snow last night, and I am one of the few faculty in this building this. morning. I am proud to be a Visiting Professor at the University of ..."

    Just curious about the capitalized 'V' though, since in some instances it could be a tittle or a group name, I suppose. (Never having actually been one myself. :D )

    I also acknowledge the double 'this' as just being a style point as well.
    Last edited by Wholeman; 01-Nov-2007 at 02:12.

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