1. ## shape

Hi

I was in quite bad shape OR I was in a quite bad shape.

--- Should I put "a" before "quite"?

2. ## Re: shape

Originally Posted by GUEST2008
Hi

I was in quite bad shape OR I was in a quite bad shape.

--- Should I put "a" before "quite"?
Say it without "a" before "quite".

3. ## Re: shape

Is it because "shape" is uncountable?

4. ## Re: shape

Originally Posted by GUEST2008
Is it because "shape" is uncountable?
In this particular context, I would say "shape" is uncountable because in your example sentence "shape" is a synonym for "health".

We could talk about "the shape one is in", but we don't about "a shape that one is in", and the same thing goes for "health" as well.

In the concrete understanding of "shape", "shape" is countable: squares, triangles, circles. How many shapes do you see on the paper? We can count shapes but not health, so that's why it seems to me that "shape", as it refers to health or a condition, is not countable.

This is a good and interesting question. That's my take on it.

5. ## Re: shape

Originally Posted by PROESL
In this particular context, I would say "shape" is uncountable because in your example sentence "shape" is a synonym for "health".

We could talk about "the shape one is in", but we don't about "a shape that one is in", and the same thing goes for "health" as well.

In the concrete understanding of "shape", "shape" is countable: squares, triangles, circles. How many shapes do you see on the paper? We can count shapes but not health, so that's why it seems to me that "shape", as it refers to health or a condition, is not countable.

This is a good and interesting question. That's my take on it.

6. ## Re: shape

Originally Posted by anupumh

It could, but to tell you the truth, I would likely say "very bad shape" or just "bad shape".

Personally, I still wouldn't say "a bad shape" referring to one's health just as I wouldn't say "I was in a bad condition". There's no need to quantify "condition" or "shape" when they refer to someone's health. I suppose that's why it just doesn't sound like something I would say, nor does it sound familiar. As far as the pure technicality of whether or not it is correct in a structural way or a grammatical way - well, that's another story. And maybe another poster could reply here?

7. ## Re: shape

Originally Posted by PROESL
It could, but to tell you the truth, I would likely say "very bad shape" or just "bad shape".

Personally, I still wouldn't say "a bad shape" referring to one's health just as I wouldn't say "I was in a bad condition". There's no need to quantify "condition" or "shape" when they refer to someone's health. I suppose that's why it just doesn't sound like something I would say, nor does it sound familiar. As far as the pure technicality of whether or not it is correct in a structural way or a grammatical way - well, that's another story. And maybe another poster could reply here?
"Quite a bad shape" doesn't sound good to my ears but I don't think it's grammatically wrong. I have heard, "He's in quite a bad way".

8. ## Re: shape

Originally Posted by anupumh
Yes, this is how an Australian would most likely say it.
Other versions sound strange. In fact, you'd have to be in quite a bad shape to say "I was in a quite bad shape"!

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