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  1. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #1

    (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    Is there any way one could use, whatever the register, the words "girl" and "man" uncountably in a sentence like this?

    "I could be girl, unless you want to be man."

    After all, in certain cases, you can use countable nouns without articles (or any other determiner, for that matter). As far as I recall, you can use this when talking about ideas (as Plato defined them in Platonic theory of ideas), not about the usual countable nouns as we all know them from our everyday lives. What do you think, is it this case? Is it even true that you can use countables like that?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    Is there any way one could use, whatever the register, the words "girl" and "man" uncountably in a sentence like this?

    "I could be girl, unless you want to be man."

    After all, in certain cases, you can use countable nouns without articles (or any other determiner, for that matter). As far as I recall, you can use this when talking about ideas (as Plato defined them in Platonic theory of ideas), not about the usual countable nouns as we all know them from our everyday lives. What do you think, is it this case? Is it even true that you can use countables like that?
    "I could be girl, unless you want to be man." This makes no sense.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    You can use 'man', as in 'humankind'. "Man first developed iron tools in XXXXBC".
    I can't think of a use for 'girl' in that way. Also, 'Man' in this case is not a Platonic ideal, but a real historical entity.

  4. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "I could be girl, unless you want to be man." This makes no sense.
    Not even if we consider "girl" and "man" to be Platonic ideals? Something in the sense of "I could be female, unless you want to be male"?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    Not even if we consider "girl" and "man" to be Platonic ideals? Something in the sense of "I could be female, unless you want to be male"?
    "Female" and "male" are adjectives in your sentence so they work. "Girl" and "man" are nouns so they don't.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "Female" and "male" are adjectives in your sentence so they work. "Girl" and "man" are nouns so they don't.
    Yeah. So there's no way, in any context imaginable where the sentence would work? I admit that I took it from song lyrics, but that doesn't make it wrong I daresay.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    Song lyrics are probably the most grammatically incorrect forms of English imaginable in many respects. I can't make an argument grammatically for your original sentence.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Song lyrics are probably the most grammatically incorrect forms of English imaginable in many respects.
    Among my favourites; here (0.57)

    Last edited by emsr2d2; 26-Nov-2013 at 19:39. Reason: typo

  9. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Among my favourites; here (0.57)

    I can't decide whether are you are or are you ain't implying that the OP's sentence is it is or is it ain't correct.

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    #10

    Re: (un)countability of "girl" and "man"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Among my favourites; here (0.57)
    Have you heard this one? It's Louis Farrakhan in his early days as a Calypso artist, The Charmer, singing about a transsexual.

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