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    • Join Date: Jul 2010
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    Countable singular noun without an article

    I have found this forum through Google search because I am confused by the grammatical structure of a sentence of one of the best sellers in the English language. Please do not misunderstand me for quoting it because it is a religious sentence. I am posting it because it does not make grammatical sense to me because the countable object was used without an article. Please feel free to remove my posting if it violates the rule of this forum. Thanks. I apologize for using a sentence from a religious book. Was the noun without an article in the sentence because it was a proper noun?The quote is "The Word was God." The usage of the word "god" is very confusing to me. It is sometimes capitalized and used without an article. Please help me from the English usage perspective. Thank you for your understanding and possible accommodation.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    In this example, "God" is a proper noun. This being's name (in the religion of the person who wrote this book and for most Christians*) is God.

    The word of Peter, the word of Mom, the word of God.

    The word "god" can be a countable, generic noun as well. When we refer to the Roman or Greek gods, for example, we don't call any of them "God" -- we call them by their names, such as Zeus or Hestia.

    * Please do not turn this into a theology thread by posting all the names by which the various religions call God. It won't change the grammar. If you want to discuss this, post it in the discussion forums, please.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
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    Re: Countable singular noun without an article

    We use a capital letter for monotheist religions and lower case for polytheist religions.

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