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Thread: life

  1. #1
    peter123 is offline Senior Member
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    life

    Hi there,
    I don't know when to use 'life' as countable and when to use it as uncountable noun. For example,

    We should do something meaningful in our life or lives.
    We should plan to do things in our daily life or lives.

    Thanks
    pete

  2. #2
    heidita's Avatar
    heidita is offline Senior Member
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    Re: life

    Quote Originally Posted by peter123 View Post
    Hi there,
    I don't know when to use 'life' as countable and when to use it as uncountable noun. For example,

    We should do something meaningful in our life or lives.
    We should plan to do things in our daily life or lives.

    Thanks
    pete
    Life is not an uncountable noun "per se" but it is in your context, unless you have lived several times already and have had "other lives"

    So in both sentences it must be "life", as we only have one life to live.

    cheers

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: life

    In a context where the sentence starts "We", unless there is anything to contradict the plural pronoun, the indication is that there are plural people involved, so "lives" would be acceptable.

    In the second sentence "daily life" is an idiom meaning the usual things that happen to you every day so it is acceptable to use "life".

  4. #4
    peter123 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: life

    Hi there,

    Thanks a lot. I read 'life' entry in Longman dictionary:

    1 [C or U] the period between birth and death; the experience or state of being alive.
    2 [C or U] way of living or a particular part of someone's life.
    So life is both countable and uncountable, which make non native speakers to understand. Are the following examples correct?


    1. ....their family lives
    ... their sex lives
    ...their private lives

    2. their working lives


    3. We interviewed senior politicians, famous writers and others in public lives.


    4. Drugs and violence are deeply rooted in American lives.


    5. They are not they want to spend the rest of their lives with their sprouses.


    6. Fortunately, accidents are part of lives.

    7. They went mad towards the end of their lives.

    8. They don't know what they really wants in/out of lives.

    9. The accident changed their whole outlook on lives.

    10. They lost their lives in a car accident.

    11. Teaching has been their lives.

    Thanks a lot.

    pete

  5. #5
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: life

    Quote Originally Posted by peter123 View Post
    Hi there,

    Thanks a lot. I read 'life' entry in Longman dictionary:

    1 [C or U] the period between birth and death; the experience or state of being alive.
    2 [C or U] way of living or a particular part of someone's life.
    So life is both countable and uncountable, which make non native speakers to understand. Are the following examples correct?


    1. ....their family lives
    ... their sex lives
    ...their private lives provided the context indicates that it relates to "them" in particular

    2. their working lives


    3. We interviewed senior politicians, famous writers and others in public life [standard collocation]


    4. Drugs and violence are deeply rooted in American lives. Here I would be inclined to go with "life" = American life in general=#1


    5. They are not sure they want to spend the rest of their lives with their spouses


    6. Fortunately, accidents are part of lives. Unfortunately, accidents are part of life = "Life" in general = #1

    7. They went mad towards the end of their lives.

    8. They don't know what they really want in/out of lives. Again, a collocation "in life/out of life" =#1

    9. The accident changed their whole outlook on lives. life =#1

    10. They lost their lives in a car accident.

    11. Teaching has been their lives. life = #1

    Thanks a lot.

    pete
    .

  6. #6
    peter123 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: life

    Hi Anglika,
    Thanks a lot. One more question. Could you proofread the following sentence and tell me whether 'life' or 'lives' is correct? Thanks a lot.


    New immigrants usually find it hard to adopt themselves to the new environment when they migrate to America first few years. They usually don't like to lead (a American life OR American lives.)

    pete

  7. #7
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    heidita is offline Senior Member
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    Re: life

    Quote Originally Posted by peter123 View Post

    New immigrants usually find it hard to adapt -- to the new environment when they migrate to America in/for/during the first few years. They usually don't like to lead an/the American way of life.

    pete
    I would suggest this, let's wait for Anglika.

    I think adapt sounds better without "themselves".

    cheers

  8. #8
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Re: life

    Quote Originally Posted by heidita View Post
    I would suggest this, let's wait for Anglika.

    I think adapt sounds better without "themselves".

    cheers
    Hi Heidita

    I agree with you. However, you can use themselves in the sentence:

    –verb (used with object) 1. to make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly: They adapted themselves to the change quickly.
    –verb (used without object) 2. to adjust oneself to different conditions, environment, etc.: to adapt easily to all circumstances.

  9. #9
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: life

    I agree with both of you

    I would also move "In/during the first few years" to the start of the sentence.

  10. #10
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Re: life

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    I agree with both of you

    I would also move "In/during the first few years" to the start of the sentence.
    Thank you for your quick reply Anglika!
    I understand that the sentence I agree with both of you is correct since you have already written it. My question - even if it`s not related to the subject of this thread - is :

    Can I say : I agree with you both, or is it unusual or less common?

    Thank you.

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