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  1. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #1

    class -- countable and/or uncountable meaning

    Dictionaries say that the word "class" meaning the period when a teacher teaches their students, can be both countable and uncountable. However, I don't see when it's countable and when uncountable.

    I've never seen a student to fall asleep during a class.
    I've never seen a student to fall asleep during class.

    Are they both acceptable? If they are, what is the difference?
    Last edited by CarloSsS; 17-Jul-2012 at 00:33.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  2. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: class -- countable and/or uncountable meaning

    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    I would say:

    I've never seen a student to fall asleep during class.

    Here it's not clear which class it is. It can be a biology class or a class on Shakespeare. It doesn't really matter because you're speaking in general terms. "During a class" full stop doesn't sound quite right to me (unless it's clear from the context which class it is you're referring to). What does sound right to me is:

    I've never seen a student fall asleep during a class on Shakespeare.

    Let's see what others think of this.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 17-Jul-2012 at 10:25.

  3. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: class -- countable and/or uncountable meaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    I would say:

    I've never seen a student to fall asleep during class.

    Here it's not clear which class it is. It can be a biology class or a class on Shakespeare. It doesn't really matter because you're speaking in general terms. "During a class" full stop doesn't sound quite right to me (unless it's clear from the context which class it is you're referring to). What does sound right to me is:

    I've never seen a student fall asleep during a class on Shakespeare.

    Let's see what others think of this.
    You're absolutely right, using "to" in the two sentences is incorrect. Thank you for pointing that out. Now after reading your post, I think that both are acceptable as they are with little to no difference in meaning. Here are some example sentences taken from COCA; they suggest that using "a", as I did, is fine although I cannot be sure of that until somebody responds.

    When people are texting during a class, coming in and out, sleeping and disrupting the class, teachers need to step up and take control.
    It is a good idea to have the addresses of reference sites both bookmarked and posted near the computer so students can easily locate them when the need for definitions or descriptions occurs spontaneously during a class.
    Do you think Pauline would have acted differently if she had been hit with a soccer ball during a class with very well-behaved students?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

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