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  1. bmfo
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    #1

    Countable & Uncountable Noun

    Is there any sort of indicator that natives unconsciously utilize to assume a particular noun as countable or uncountable?
    I looked up some websites to gather information about it but lots of them seem to be quite culture-driven and, you know, there are hundreds of thousands of nouns that I couldn't imagine memorizing all of them. So I want to ask how the native English speakers become distinguishing them without extra thoughts.
    Personally I have three perspectives of it.
    1. Not that important.
    2. Just permeates naturally after reading tons of articles and books. (I personally think this is the fact and the best way)
    3. After memorizing tens of hundreds of countable and uncountable nouns, some kind of big picture would be formed in my brain so that I can somehow sort other nouns out whether they are countable or uncountable.

    Thank you very much.

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    #2

    Re: Countable & Uncountable Noun

    Native speakers don't consciously go out to learn the difference between countable and uncountable nouns.

  2. bmfo
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    #3

    Re: Countable & Uncountable Noun

    Thank you but I didn't say a thing like Native speakers consciously going out to learn the difference between countable and uncountable nouns.
    If my first sentence is causing any misunderstading, I meant by 'indicator' that like something engraved on your brain as a reference book. And I want to know how did you guys gain that ability to sort them out.
    I am sure Native speakers should have learnt at some point of their age. I can't write 100% grammatically correctly in Korean which even is my mother tongue and I have to look up the Internet sometimes for correct grammar or think about it a tiny bit to find out whether I have written it correctly.
    I need the answer from an English teacher.

    Thank you very much.

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    #4

    Re: Countable & Uncountable Noun

    It's based on a logical concept, isn't it? Whether you can count something.

    Can you provide some examples of things that cause you confusion?

    If I think of a giant pile of salt, waiting to be spread on the roads, it is one mass of salt. It's not countable. Just salt.

    Now, put that salt into 50 pound bags and it is now bags of salt. Countable bags.

    The same way, when the rain freezes there is ice out there on the roads. One big mass of ice. Not countable.

    In my beverage, there can be individual cubes of ice. Countable.

  3. bmfo
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    #5

    Re: Countable & Uncountable Noun

    Sorry my bad. Like, journey is countable and travel is uncountable. what makes it different?

    However, thank you very much for the easy explanation.
    Last edited by bmfo; 04-Mar-2015 at 03:17.

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    #6

    Re: Countable & Uncountable Noun

    That is more difficult and just picked up by example (hearing it used by others). I can't think of a good reason why we might go on many journeys, but not on a bunch of "travels."

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Countable & Uncountable Noun

    With the examples that aren't logical, we just pick them up during our lifetime, usually during childhood. We are not taught them formally.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Countable & Uncountable Noun

    Who says "travel" is not countable? One example of many: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travels..._C%C3%A9vennes

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    #9

    Re: Countable & Uncountable Noun

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Who says "travel" is not countable? One example of many: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travels..._C%C3%A9vennes
    Never say "never" with English, right?

    I would say there are specialized uses, but it would sound awfully strange for someone to ask me if "I have had a lot of travels," for example.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Countable & Uncountable Noun

    You would be happy with "During my travels, I have encountered many interesting people" though, wouldn't you?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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