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Thread: To / Towards

  1. #1
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    To / Towards

    How come after the word 'to' I don't need to use the base word here? Is it becase 'to' means 'towards' here?
    1. This only applies to colleges.
    2. This only applies to college. ('college' is a count noun, so is this incorrect?)

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: To / Towards

    Quote Originally Posted by jack
    How come after the word 'to' I don't need to use the base word here? Is it becase 'to' means 'towards' here?
    1. This only applies to colleges.
    2. This only applies to college. ('college' is a count noun, so is this incorrect?)

    Thanks
    apply to is a phrasal verb. to takes a noun as its object, and since college is a 'count noun', it requires either a determiner (a or the) or an -s:

    This applies to a college of your choice. (any one college)
    This applies to the college of your choice. (a known college, mentioned)
    This applies to colleges of your choice. (many colleges)

  3. #3
    M56 Guest

    Re: To / Towards

    2. This only applies to college. ('college' is a count noun, so is this incorrect?)

    "College" there could also be referring to a period in one's life/studies. In that case the above would be correct.

    This applies to school.

    This happens at university.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: To / Towards

    'College' can be uncountable is the sense of a period of time, ut would that go with the verb 'applies'?

  5. #5
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    Re: To / Towards


    'College' can be uncountable is the sense of a period of time, ut would that go with the verb 'applies'?
    Of course it does not.

  6. #6
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    Re: To / Towards

    Quote Originally Posted by jack
    Of course it does not.
    M56 and tdol are correct, jack. If 'college' is viewed as a non-count noun, then 2. is correct.

    2. This only applies to college. (e.g, applies to (when I go to) college; applies to my college years, etc.)

    You're question, though, focuses on the count noun 'college', so if 'college' is viewed as a count noun, then 2., as you've noted, is incorrect (*).

    *2. This only applies to college. ('college' is a count noun, so is this incorrect?)

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