Student or Learner
Hello all. I would like to ask English experts to explain the usage of the indefinite article in exclamation sentences.
1) What a horrible song!
2) What awful news!
3) What fun your friend Maisie is!
4) What good meat this is!
5) What fresh fruit!
(I guess all of them are correct)
Does it depend on the noun (countable\uncountable, abstract/concrete)?
Is there any specific rule for such a case? Or does the case undergo the general rule of indefinite article usage?
Thanks in advance!
Last edited by olya g.; 18-Feb-2011 at 21:40.
Thanks a lot for your responses!
But I'm still confused.
What about news and fruit (and advice)? (Aren't they countable, singular?)
Is it correct? -
What a fresh fruit!
What an awful news! / What a horrible news!
(What a good advice!)
If I'm mistaken, please, help me!
Last edited by olya g.; 18-Feb-2011 at 22:15.
- May I give you a piece of advice?
- She always has a piece of fruit for desert.
- She was delighted by this piece of news.
since they are uncountable if you need to count them you should use some means to count them just as when you say:"a packet of butter". "a piece of" is a common way to mention these uncountable nouns in a countable manner. Now you can say:"three pieces of advice.
You have heard the news, haven't you? they say " the latest headlines" which is the plural of "the latest headline" but "news" is not the plural of "new".
What a fresh fruit! is alright as long as you mean one fruit that is fresh.
I actually was sure that "news", "advice" and even "fruit" were countable. (The phenomenon of interference between languages presents here, I guess).
Thus, the conclusion is the following:
we use indefinite article in exclamation sentences such as "What a horrible song!" according to the noun that is countable and singular. If not, we don't use articles at all. Am I right?
And my following question: how should be explained the use of article in "What a pity!" (or probably it is not correct?)
Last edited by olya g.; 19-Feb-2011 at 00:38.