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    #1

    countable+noncountable(or abstact) nouns mix

    Section "4. Nouns which can be either countable or uncountable" of
    "CHAPTER 16. UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS" gives example of uncountable "cake":
    • Cake and ice cream is my favorite dessert


    What will be corect to write:
    "Cake and apples is my favorite dessert"
    or
    "Cake and apples are my favorite dessert"

    "Cake and two apples is my favorite dessert"
    or
    "Cake and two apples are my favorite dessert"

    "Two cakes and love (abstract concept) is my favorite dessert""
    "Two cakes and love (abstract concept) are my favorite dessert""

    "Two cakes are my favorite dessert"
    "Two cakes is my favorite dessert"

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: countable+noncountable(or abstact) nouns mix

    The example considerer "cake and ice cream" to be a combined, single thing. Otherwise it would have said "Cake and ice cream are my favorite desserts."

    In your examples, do you consider it necessary to have cake and an apple (or two) at the same time? Must you have two cakes for it to be your favorite?

    Cake and apples are my favorite desserts. I will be equally happy having cake, or having an apple.

    None of your examples work this way.

    All of yours require a combination, just like cake-and-ice-cream requires both to be present.
    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.

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    #3

    Re: countable+noncountable(or abstact) nouns mix

    Thanks, I shall think again tomorrow morning what I could not understand in "cake is used as an uncountable noun when referring to cake as a substance"

    Just now, I still have feeling that I always thought that substance or concept was homogeneous but either cake or "ice cream" or, at least, "cake + ice cream" is mixture

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: countable+noncountable(or abstact) nouns mix

    Think of it as "cake served with ice cream" -- not a mixture, but a combined dish.

    I like cake, and I like ice cream, but when I get cake and ice cream, it's my favorite.
    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.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: countable+noncountable(or abstact) nouns mix

    Barb put you right about combined dishes, but was kind enough to overlook the major flaw in the thread title - I don't understand why anyone would think an uncountable noun was necessarily abstract. Do you know what 'abstract' means (If not, there are plenty of dictionaries out there )

    b

    PS To start you thinking about what is uncountable and what is abstract, compare 'chocolates', 'chocolate', and 'obesity'...
    Last edited by BobK; 31-Dec-2010 at 01:23. Reason: PS Added

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: countable+noncountable(or abstact) nouns mix

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post

    PS To start you thinking about what is uncountable and what is abstract, compare 'chocolates', 'chocolate', and 'obesity'...
    Killjoy!

    How about chocolate, chocolates, and bliss!
    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.

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    #7

    Re: countable+noncountable(or abstact) nouns mix

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    The example considerer "cake and ice cream" to be a combined, single thing. Otherwise it would have said "Cake and ice cream are my favorite desserts."
    Then, I'd better memorize the rule:
    instead, i.e. without overcomplicating the simple rule by inter-mixing it with unrelated abstractionism, conceptualization, generalization and floating (un)countability issues

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