Interested in Language
In the sentence
"My dream is to get plastic surgery."
could one use the indefinite article:
"My dream is to get a plastic surgery."
Is the use of such article here prohibited, optional or obligatory?
PS Feel free to correct any mistakes in this post
But regarding the use of the verb you pointed out (have instead of get), it is very important to clarify it. I took that original sentence (with get) from a ESL book which uses AmE. That is a modern book which really tries to follow the American way of speaking. How strange would it sound if you heard someone saying "get plastic surgery" ?
If possible, I would like also to read someone else's opinion concerning the use of 'get plastic surgery'.
I have heard .... 'have plastic surgery'
It's not hard to explain; we don't use 'a' because 'surgery' in this usage is not countable - that's why 2006 writes 'a plastic surgery operation'. Other nouns you could use to make it countable are 'event', 'practice', 'technique', 'method'... (whichever suits the context).
My impression is that 'have' and 'get' are both OK before the surgery (to my ear, 'get' implies more of a choice). After the surgery, the patient has had it.
My dream is to get some plastic surgery done to repair the damage in my nose from my acccident.
My dream is to have plastic surgery to repair my damaged nose.
My dream is to have plastic surgery done to repair my damaged nose.
My dream is to have a plastic surgery procedure done to repair my damaged nose.
You'd normally say where, if you're going to say it at all.
"My dream is to get plastic surgery on my nose."
I have read many examples of Americans saying "I've had 3 surgeries for this problem" on newsgroups. Perhaps it's a regional dialect; it sounds strange to me.