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    #1

    Question Isn't an article needed in this sentence?

    I ran into a sentence shown below in some English exam.:

    It's quite delicate work that calls for concentration and patience.

    Does this sentence above sound right?
    I thought, maybe, this sentence needs an article to be:

    It's quite delicate a work that calls for concentration and patience.

    I tried to search for the correct usage of the word "work" but could not be convinced if the word needs an article or not in this sentence.

    I would appreciate if you give me the answer to this question, and would appreciate more if you explain why.

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: Isn't an article needed in this sentence?

    The sentence would sound unnatural to me with an article. I can't explain why though. It doesn't seem completely illogical to consider work countable here. Yet in my experience, native speakers use "work" as an uncountable noun in such sentences.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Isn't an article needed in this sentence?

    Unless you are referring to, for example, a painting (ie "a work by Picasso"), "work" is almost never countable.

    It is tiring work.
    He has some difficult work coming up.
    I have a great job but it involves some challenging work.

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    #4

    Re: Isn't an article needed in this sentence?

    Thank you for your quick reply, Birdeen's call. If the original sentence sounds all right, I think I wil leave it as it is. Thank you.

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    #5

    Re: Isn't an article needed in this sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by cabin View Post
    Thank you for your quick reply, Birdeen's call. If the original sentence sounds all right, I think I wil leave it as it is. Thank you.
    The original sentence is fine.

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    #6

    Re: Isn't an article needed in this sentence?

    Thank you for your reply and examples. I felt somewhat strange to hear "It's quite delicate work " probably because I had not heard sentences of the same pattern many times. I will try to be more confident to stick to the fundamental rule you pointed out: "Unless you are referring to, for example, a painting (ie "a work by Picasso"), "work" is almost never countable." Thank you very much again.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Isn't an article needed in this sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Unless you are referring to, for example, a painting (ie "a work by Picasso"), "work" is almost never countable.

    ...
    Other cases can be thought of as abbreviations of compound nouns like 'handiwork' or 'fretwork' or 'artwork'... - 'Look at the amazingly detailed work in this handkerchief'

    b

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