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  1. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #1

    Question about the word "urgency"

    Can the word "urgency" be used in a singular way? That is can it be said "an urgency"? Why do I find different answers in different dictionaries?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2
    Yes, "urgency" can be used as a singular. What sentence did you have in mind"

  3. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Yes, "urgency" can be used as a singular. What sentence did you have in mind"
    It's ______ great urgency that we need to make the relative laws with the rapid growth of online shopping.
    The word for the blank is "of". Then is "a" also right for the blank? I've looked it up in both Oxford and Longman dictionaries. They only show that "urgency" is an uncountable word.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    It's ______ great urgency that we need to make the relative laws with the rapid growth of online shopping.
    The word for the blank is "of". Then is "a" also right for the blank? I've looked it up in both Oxford and Longman dictionaries. They only show that "urgency" is an uncountable word.
    Yes, I would consider "a" to be equally acceptable to "of".
    Last edited by 5jj; 14-Mar-2014 at 07:09. Reason: minor typo

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    It's ______ great urgency that we need to make the relative laws with the rapid growth of online shopping.
    The word for the blank is "of". Then is "a" also right for the blank? I've looked it up in both Oxford and Longman dictionaries. They only show that "urgency" is an uncountable word.
    I find "It's a great urgency that we need to make ..." very unnatural. I would say "It's very urgent that we make ..."

    For me, the only two words which fit in the gap are "of" and "with".

    The whole sentence is a bit messy. It doesn't really need "need to" and "make the relative laws with the rapid growth of online shopping" makes no sense to me.

    I think the sentence actually means "We urgently need to make/pass relevant laws due to the rapid growth of online shopping."
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6
    All three: "of", "with", and "a" are in use.

    great urgency

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    All three: "of", "with", and "a" are in use.
    Not for the given sentence.
    It may be urgent that we do something. That makes the action an urgency. It doesn't make the fact or opinion that we urgently need to do it an urgency. That remains a simple fact (or opinion).
    My opinion: "Removing this girl's appendix is an urgency." Correct.
    My opinion [that removing this girl's appendix is an urgency] is not an urgency.
    Last edited by Raymott; 14-Mar-2014 at 05:01.

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8
    We can agree to disagree. That we need to do do something can be an urgency. The second definition here covers that.

  9. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I find "It's a great urgency that we need to make ..." very unnatural.
    You are not alone. In the combined Corpus of Contemporary English and British National Corpus, there is only one citation for 'BE of (great) urgency that' and none for 'BE a great urgency that'. There are several dozen in the much larger Google Books corpora, with 'of' having ten times as many citations as 'a'.

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