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  1. rock-onn's Avatar
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    #1

    I have a work to do.

    I have a work to do.
    Is this a correct sentence?
    'Work' is an uncountable noun and so I guess 'a work' is wrong. But this sentence looks very familiar for me. So, I thought to confirm it.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I have a work to do.

    It is incorrect.

  3. kilroy65's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I have a work to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by rock-onn View Post
    But this sentence looks very familiar to me.
    Perhaps you've seen/heard "I have a lot of work to do."

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    #4

    Re: I have a work to do.

    ...or 'I have work to do'.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I have a work to do.

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...=1#post1181073
    Is there a reason why 'a horrible pollution' above but not 'a hard work' here is correct when both 'pollution' and 'work' are shown as uncountable in dictionaries?
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: I have a work to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by rock-onn View Post
    I have a work to do.
    I have work to do.
    I have a job to do.

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    #7

    Re: I have a work to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...=1#post1181073
    Is there a reason why 'a horrible pollution' above but not 'a hard work' here is correct when both 'pollution' and 'work' are shown as uncountable in dictionaries?
    Countable/uncountable are not unbreakable laws of the universe, and usage and context also come into play. In the example you quote, Piscean said that he was not using pollution in an uncountable way in that example. You probably wouldn't hesitate to ask for a coffee- countable and uncountable are not immutable concepts, but tendencies that are subject to instances when they break away from the normal pattern. And the fact that some words break away does not mean that all can follow- if no one uses a form, you just have to accept it. If you look hard enough, you will almost certainly find people saying a hard work, but it would always be within a restricted context, which is doesn't make it right in the other 99.999999999% of cases.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I have a work to do.

    It seems that the only way to ascertain whether an uncountable noun could be used in a countable way in a certain context is to ask a teacher.

    Is it incorrect to use 'a' in 'perform a clean installation of Windows', where 'installation' is uncountable in definition#1 in Longman? It is countable in definition#2 but has a different meaning.

    I think 'a hard work' is incorrect because 'work' has a different meaning when it is countable.
    I am not a teacher.

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