********** NOT A TEACHER **********
(1) I have been following your thread with great interest because I,
too, want an answer.
(2) IF (IF!!!) I understand you correctly, you (and I) want to know the
I feel great admiration for your country.
I feel a great admiration for your country.
(3) Sadly, I have not been able to find an answer that satisfies me,
but I have found a few ideas to share with you:
(a) admiration is a mass noun that does not take the plural.
(b) One expert says that non-count nouns take an indefinite
article when modified or qualified:
(i) (His example) a deep happiness. (I guess that deep modifies the mass
(ii) (His example) an admiration for those fellow students. ( I guess that
for those fellow students qualifies admiration.)
(4) One teacher told me that there is no difference between "I feel great
admiration for" and "I feel a great admiration for." He said it is a matter of
the speaker's choice.
(5) I personally feel (until I get more information) (of course, I could be
100% wrong) that there is a difference.
(a) I detect that there is an emphasis or specificity with a/an.
(i) I feel a great admiration for your countrymay (may!!!) mean
As far as your country is concerned, I feel a great admiration/ an
admiration that knows no limits/that I feel for no other country/that
is hard to explain, etc.
I say this because of point no.6.
(6) In researching this topic, I discovered this expert's words:
In German, as in English, it is normal (my emphasis) to use any
abstract noun with the indefinite article when it is qualified by
an adjective or an adjectival clause. We do not speak of a despair, but
we do say He was filled with a despair that grew from day to day.
P. S. Please let us know if you find more information.
Student or Learner