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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Demonstratives "this" and "that"

    Could the demonstrative determiners "this" and "that" be used with uncountable nouns of some process or activity? In the following sentences that refer to specific processes/activities:

    1 This punishment is too harsh.
    2 That misbehavior could get him in trouble.
    3 This glorification of war is not healthy.

    where "punishment", "misbehavior", "glorification" are, according to dictionaries, uncountable.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Demonstratives "this" and "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by awesc View Post
    Could the demonstrative determiners "this" and "that" be used with uncountable nouns of some process or activity? In the following sentences that refer to specific processes/activities:

    1 This punishment is too harsh.
    2 That misbehavior could get him in trouble.
    3 This glorification of war is not healthy.

    where "punishment", "misbehavior", "glorification" are, according to dictionaries, uncountable.
    Yes they are all correct. But the three nouns are not always uncountable.

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    #3

    Re: Demonstratives "this" and "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Yes they are all correct. But the three nouns are not always uncountable.
    So, I could write "these five glorifications of war are not healthy"?

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Demonstratives "this" and "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by awesc View Post
    So, I could write "these five glorifications of war are not healthy"?
    Possibly, depending on context. Consider: At the Academy awards we were exposed to glorifications of many actors and actresses and the Academy itself.

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Demonstratives "this" and "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Possibly, depending on context. Consider: At the Academy awards we were exposed to glorifications of many actors and actresses and the Academy itself.
    I don't find that at all natural. I would write "...we were exposed to the glorification of many actors..."

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Demonstratives "this" and "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I don't find that at all natural. I would write "...we were exposed to the glorification of many actors..."
    Well, OK, but you've picked the wrong uncountable word as an example. Mike's answers are generally true.
    1) Whether you can use 'this' and 'that' with uncountables is obvious.
    2) 'This' and 'that' do not indicate whether the noun is uncountable or not. 'Glorifications' is awkward, but 'punishments' and 'misbehaviours' are routine.
    3) These words used countably require "these" or "those" instead of 'this' and 'that'.
    Last edited by Raymott; 11-Oct-2013 at 12:42. Reason: typo

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