Student or Learner
Is it standard English to write "first love", when "love" is uncountable, but "first" suggests countability?
Welcome to the forums, strike2.
'First love' is standard. 'Love' can be countable or uncountable.
See meaning #3 below from the COED:
- 1 an intense feeling of deep affection.■ a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.
■ affectionate greetings.
- 2 a great interest and pleasure in something.
- 3 a person or thing that one loves.■ Brit. informal a friendly form of address.
So, I must write "he had a first love at 16", not "he had first love at 16"?
Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.
To describe the first experience of love (not the person), I must then use "a first love"?
Not necessarily. In fact, if you want to talk feeling and not person, probably not.
Write the full sentence and we'll see.
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.
So, both mean the same?
"he has just experienced first love"
"he has just experienced a first love"