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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    I read in Oxford 'there will be heavy rain tomorrow'. I thought this sentence would be used in weather forecast. In spoken English native speakers would say 'there's going to be heavy rain tomorrow'. Am I right? And do you also say 'there will be a heavy rain tomorrow'? (Some of my net friends insist that we can use 'a' here.)

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    I read in Oxford 'there will be heavy rain tomorrow'. I thought this sentence would be used in weather forecast. In spoken English native speakers would say 'there's going to be heavy rain tomorrow'. Am I right? And do you also say 'there will be a heavy rain tomorrow'? (Some of my net friends insist that we can use 'a' here.)

    Thank you in advance.
    Hi joham,
    "Rain" is a collective noun, you can say "There will be a heavy rainstorm tomorrow". or " A heavy fall of rain". It is not correct to say "a heavy rain tomorrow".

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    Re: there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    'there will be heavy rain tomorrow'. I thought this sentence would be used in weather forecast.
    Yes - a statement of fact - come tomorrow and it will rain heavily

    In spoken English native speakers would say 'there's going to be heavy rain tomorrow'.
    Yes. But why are we bothering to say this to someone?
    Because the speaker is alerting the person to the consequences of this. What is implied or understood between the speaker and hearer (if plans have been made) is something like:
    'There's going to be heavy rain tomorrow (so I won't be able to mow the lawn after all.)"

    or
    'There's going to be heavy rain tomorrow so be sure to take an umbrella.'

    'There's going to be heavy rain tomorrow.' (The two people are on holiday, it's been overcast all day, and now the speaker says this. The listener understands he is not only saying, we won't be able to get out and about much tomorrow particularly not down to the beach for sunbathing, but also, 'this is turning out to be a lousy/rotten holiday because of the bad weather.'

  4. #4
    Dawood Usmani's Avatar
    Dawood Usmani is offline Senior Member
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    Re: there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    I read in Oxford 'there will be heavy rain tomorrow'. I thought this sentence would be used in weather forecast. In spoken English native speakers would say 'there's going to be heavy rain tomorrow'. Am I right? And do you also say 'there will be a heavy rain tomorrow'? (Some of my net friends insist that we can use 'a' here.)

    Thank you in advance.
    "There will be a heavy rain tomorrow." Incorrect.
    "There will beheavy rain tomorrow." Correct.
    The reason why the first sentences is incorrect is that "rain" is an uncountable noun and an uncountable noun is never use directly with "a" or "an".
    An inch of rain fell in an hour
    An inch of rain fell in an hour
    .
    Hope this helps!
    Dawood
    Last edited by Dawood Usmani; 09-May-2008 at 13:38.

  5. #5
    Dawood Usmani's Avatar
    Dawood Usmani is offline Senior Member
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    Thumbs up Re: there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    I read in Oxford 'there will be heavy rain tomorrow'. I thought this sentence would be used in weather forecast. In spoken English native speakers would say 'there's going to be heavy rain tomorrow'. Am I right? And do you also say 'there will be a heavy rain tomorrow'? (Some of my net friends insist that we can use 'a' here.)

    Thank you in advance.
    "There will be a heavy rain tomorrow." Incorrect.
    "There will beheavy rain tomorrow." Correct.
    The reason why the first sentences is incorrect is that "rain" is an uncountable noun and an uncountable noun is never used directly with "a" or "an".
    a heavy shower of rain
    An inch of rain fell in an hour
    .
    Hope this helps!
    Dawood
    Last edited by Dawood Usmani; 19-May-2008 at 05:52.

  6. #6
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Hi joham,
    "Rain" is a collective noun, you can say "There will be a heavy rainstorm tomorrow". or " A heavy fall of rain". It is not correct to say "a heavy rain tomorrow".
    But, since there is this alternative ('a heavy rainstorm') native speakers
    occasionally do treat rain as if it were countable - especially in the plural: 'Do you remember the heavy rains of last summer?' (Compare with this version without the "of" - 'Do you remember the heavy rain last summer?' The uncountable version refers to the total amount of rainfall, whereas the countable one refers to a number of individual events.)

    A non-native speaker, though, would be suspected of making a mistake. I'm sorry, but life's not fair like that (especially when you're speaking a foreign language )

    So Joham's Oxford friends are right if they're native speakers, but either wrong or very advanced English-speakers if they're not.

    b

    PS Now I think of it, there's a third very similar version: 'Do you remember rain last summer?' [asked by someone who doubts if there was any].
    Last edited by BobK; 09-May-2008 at 11:56. Reason: Added last sentence

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    Re: there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    Rain can be countable when it's short for rainfall/rainstorm, e.g.,
    "During a heavy rain, the pipes may get too full and start to overflow...";
    "There was a heavy rain in the spring of 1992."

    What sounds strange about "there will be a heavy rain tomorrow" perhaps lies in the future tense -- the forecast of only one rainfall.

  8. #8
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Re: there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by acorn View Post
    Rain can be countable when it's short for rainfall/rainstorm, e.g.,
    "During a heavy rain, the pipes may get too full and start to overflow...";
    "There was a heavy rain in the spring of 1992."

    What sounds strange about "there will be a heavy rain tomorrow" perhaps lies in the future tense -- the forecast of only one rainfall.
    Yes, this is what I wanted to say. How can people forecast 'a' heavy rain? I would think people only forecast 'heavy rain' meaning the amount of rain tomorrow, rather than one or two or more rainfalls. Am I right?

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    Re: there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    no need to use 'a' here

  10. #10
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: there will be a heavy rain tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Funk View Post
    no need to use 'a' here
    Yes, no need.

    But if a forecaster thinks there will be several short but heavy showers [total rainfall - 5 cm in the course of 24 hours], s/he would say 'there will be heavy rain tomorrow'. Whereas, if the forecast were for a single very heavy storm [total rainfall 5 cm in the course of half an hour] s/he might say any of these:

    'There will be heavy rain tomorrow.'
    'There will be a short but very heavy downpour tomorrow.'

    or even (though purists may not like it)
    'There will be a short rain tomorrow'.

    b

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