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    #1

    Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    I think this is going to be a truly excruciating topic. I really can't understand the use of a/an with singular countable nouns. Please consider the examples below and kindly note these are NEITHER picture captions NOR article titles.


    1. Richie Porte was the revelation of the 2010 Giro d'Italia. He wore the maglia rosa for three days and went home as winner of the young rider classification.

    (Cyclingnews)


    2. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) sealed overall victory in the Giro d’Italia on Sunday.

    (Bike Radar)


    3. CCC Polsat: CCC is a chain of shoe shops in Poland whilst Polsat is satellite TV channel.

    (inrng)


    4. As coach and sports scientist Garth Fox explains, if you’re a time triallist, your number one enemy is aerodynamic drag. It is always present and will always be working against your attempts to go quicker.

    (Bike Radar)


    5. Late last year, Armstrong resigned as chairman of the foundation he created, Livestrong, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the fight against cancer.

    (Oprah's Next Chapter: Oprah and Lance Armstrong)


    6. As the sports world eagerly anticipates tonight’s interview with Lance Armstrong by Oprah Winfrey, there is much speculation as to why the American has decided to finally come forward after he has already been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and his Olympic medal, after he has lost his personal sponsorships and resigned as chairman of his eponymous cancer foundation.

    (Cyclingnews)


    7. He stepped down as chairman of Livestrongfirst but remained on the board of directors.

    (NBC News)


    8. "That was the most humbling moment. To get that call," Armstrong explained. "Two parts. Step down as chairman but stay on the board.

    (Cyclingnews)


    9. Shane Sutton has stepped down as head coach of Team Sky although the Australian will continue to serve a consultation role as a performance advisor and “troubleshooter.”

    (Cyclingnews)

    10. Team Sky’s statement said that he would dovetail his new position with his job as head coach of the British track programme.

    (C
    yclingnews)


    11. Rod Ellingworth, who has served as race coach at Team Sky since its inception in 2010, now takes up the role of performance manager, with responsibility for overseeing the work of the team’s coaches and sports directors.

    (Cyclingnews)


    12. Most broken of them all is Ellen whose promising career as geriatric professional is destroyed by allegations of elder abuse.

    (Cycling Tips)


    13. Garmin-Barracuda controlled the field for race leader Ramunas Navardauskas.

    (Cycling Tips)


    14. He had lowered book and bottle so as to stare at everybody (...).

    (This is taken from a novel by Ramsey Campbell titled "The One Safe Place", page 124, Headline 1995. The sentence comes from a broader context of a chapter in which THE book and THE bottle had been mentioned several times before this sentence occured).


    15. All the while, this organization, of which I am member, is chaired by someone who once tested positive, and whose members have a rich and varied history ranging from Festina to Puerto to USPS to CERA to Corticoid investigations.

    (Cyclingnews)



    How does all of this relate to the Golden Rule of English:

    - A SINGULAR COUNTABLE NOUN ALWAYS TAKES AN ARTICLE: If a single unit or item--A or AN If specific or particular—THE

    (University Of West Florida
    )


    and these (not so golden....):

    - "If the noun is COUNTABLE and SINGULAR it must almost always be preceded by an article".

    (Birmingham City University)

    - Singular countable nouns must usually be preceded by determiners even when the nouns are also preceded by various descriptive words

    (English Grammar: Explanation and Exercises
    )


    So must a/an be ALWAYS, ALMOST ALWAYS or USUALLY used with singular countable nouns...? This is really beyond my ken...

    I would be eternally grateful for (an) precise answer





  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    3. CCC Polsat: CCC is a chain of shoe shops in Poland whilst Polsat is satellite TV channel.
    This is the only one of your examples where a necessary article is missing.

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    #3

    Re: Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    3. CCC Polsat: CCC is a chain of shoe shops in Poland whilst Polsat is satellite TV channel.
    This is the only one of your examples where a necessary article is missing.
    Really?? What about 14? How do you explain this?
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 21-Feb-2013 at 23:49. Reason: Deleting gratuitous expletive.

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    #4

    Re: Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    Number 14 is the same sort of colloquial usage as

    'He risked life and limb to keep his daughter safe.'

    'You will need pen and pencil for this exercise.'

    Rover

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    Quote Originally Posted by CFRB View Post

    I would be eternally grateful for (an) precise answer



    1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 are all of the same type.
    3 is wrong, as is 15. They require an article.
    14 has been explained.
    That leaves 2, "sealed victory". There's only one victory to be sealed (just as there's only one chairman etc. in the first type). It's like "He won first prize".

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    #6

    Re: Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 are all of the same type.
    3 is wrong, as is 15. They require an article.
    14 has been explained.
    That leaves 2, "sealed victory". There's only one victory to be sealed (just as there's only one chairman etc. in the first type). It's like "He won first prize".
    Thank you for the answers, I appreciate. Nevertheless I'd like to have it 100% clear once and for all. Is my line of reasoning correct now?

    1. Richie Porte was the revelation of the 2010 Giro d'Italia. He wore the maglia rosa for three days and went home as winner of the young rider classification. (one winner of this particular classification)

    (Cyclingnews)


    2. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) sealed overall victory in the Giro d’Italia on Sunday. (this one particular victory)

    (Bike Radar)


    3. CCC Polsat: CCC is a chain of shoe shops in Poland whilst Polsat is satellite TV channel. (A satellite channel - one of MANY satellite channels)

    (inrng)


    4. As coach and sports scientist Garth Fox explains, if you’re a time triallist, your number one enemy is aerodynamic drag. It is always present and will always be working against your attempts to go quicker. (this one particular coach and sports scientist: Garth Fox)

    (Bike Radar)


    5. Late last year, Armstrong resigned as chairman of the foundation he created, Livestrong, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the fight against cancer. (this one particular chairman - only one: Lance Armstrong)

    (Oprah's Next Chapter: Oprah and Lance Armstrong)


    6. As the sports world eagerly anticipates tonight’s interview with Lance Armstrong by Oprah Winfrey, there is much speculation as to why the American has decided to finally come forward after he has already been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and his Olympic medal, after he has lost his personal sponsorships and resigned as chairman of his eponymous cancer foundation. (this one particular chairman - only one: Lance Armstrong)

    (Cyclingnews)


    7. He stepped down as chairman of Livestrongfirst but remained on the board of directors. (this one particular chairman - only one: Lance Armstrong)

    (NBC News)


    8. "That was the most humbling moment. To get that call," Armstrong explained. "Two parts. Step down as chairman but stay on the board. (this one particular chairman - only one: Lance Armstrong)

    (Cyclingnews)


    9. Shane Sutton has stepped down as head coach of Team Sky although the Australian will continue to serve a consultation role as a performance advisor and “troubleshooter.” (this one particular head coach - only one: S. Sutton)

    (Cyclingnews)

    10. Team Sky’s statement said that he would dovetail his new position with his job as head coach of the British track programme. (this one particular head coach - only one)

    (C
    yclingnews)


    11. Rod Ellingworth, who has served as race coach at Team Sky since its inception in 2010, now takes up the role of performance manager, with responsibility for overseeing the work of the team’s coaches and sports directors. (this one particular head coach - only one: Rod Ellingworth)

    (Cyclingnews)


    12. Most broken of them all is Ellen whose promising career as geriatric professional is destroyed by allegations of elder abuse. (this one particular geriatric professional - only one: Ellen)

    (Cycling Tips)


    13. Garmin-Barracuda controlled the field for race leader Ramunas Navardauskas. (this one particular race leader - only one: Ramunas Navardauskas)

    (Cycling Tips)


    14. He had lowered book and bottle so as to stare at everybody (...). (this one particular book and one particular bottle in question)

    (This is taken from a novel by Ramsey Campbell titled "The One Safe Place", page 124, Headline 1995. The sentence comes from a broader context of a chapter in which THE book and THE bottle had been mentioned several times before this sentence occured).


    15. All the while, this organization, of which I am member, is chaired by someone who once tested positive, and whose members have a rich and varied history ranging from Festina to Puerto to USPS to CERA to Corticoid investigations. (of which I am A member - one of MANY members)
    (Cyclingnews)



    Bottomline:

    - it is possible to omit A/AN in colloquial usage if there's no mistaking about the person/thing/etc. (Am I correct?)



    (by the way, is it possible for Barack Obama - in an informal chat with a friend - to say "I am president"? Or could my boss say - let's say at the meeting - "I'm boss here!"?)



    Last edited by CFRB; 24-Feb-2013 at 18:23.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    Yes, you do seem to have reliably reflected our answers back to us, except for 14, which was explained as being colloquial.

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    #8

    Re: Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    Is it really 'a/an' that is missing?

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    Quote Originally Posted by Esgaleth View Post
    Is it really 'a/an' that is missing?
    Are you talking about no. 14? If so, as we said, there is nothing "missing". However, if we wanted to add words, they would not be the indefinite article, in my opinion. I would write "He lowered his book and bottle ..."
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: Singular Countable Noun WITHOUT an article!

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Are you talking about no. 14? If so, as we said, there is nothing "missing". However, if we wanted to add words, they would not be the indefinite article, in my opinion. I would write "He lowered his book and bottle ..."
    No, I have no problem with double expressions.
    I'd rather think 'the' is omitted in, for example, '[the] head coach of the British track programme'(10), which is quite natural in titles and unique positions.

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