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  1. Fagin's Avatar
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    #1

    A murder is first degree murder if ...

    http://www.scc-csc.ca/WebDocuments-D...-the-Queen.pdf

    A “murder” is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate.
    A “murder” that is not “first degree murder” is “second degree murder”.
    Is it natural to use "murder" both as countable and uncountable in a single sentence?
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

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    #2

    Re: A murder is first degree murder if ...

    Both quoted sentences are natural.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Fagin's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A murder is first degree murder if ...

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Both quoted sentences are natural.
    On the same page the last sentence goes like

    Murder is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate.
    I understand that you are not a teacher and may not know any rules but you are a native speaker and there must be a difference in how you feel about these sentences.

    What about
    A murder is a first degree murder when ...

    Michael Swan writes:
    Many other normally uncountable nouns may have 'partly countable' uses. This can happen when the meaning is particular rather than general:
    We need a secretary with a knowledge of English.
    You've been a great help.
    So I would expect

    Murder is a first degree murder when ...

    I'm utterly confused! Can anyone expound on this?
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

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    #4

    Re: A murder is first degree murder if ...

    I think there are different possibilities here that are correct:

    A “murder” is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate. (Any instance or murder that falls into this category)
    “Murder” is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate. (Murder in general that falls into this category)

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A murder is first degree murder if ...

    Also

    ... is a first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate. (Any instance or murder that falls into this category)
    ... is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate. (Murder in general that falls into this category)

    I think that the first is less likely, but possible.

  4. Fagin's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A murder is first degree murder if ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Also

    ... is a first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate. (Any instance or murder that falls into this category)
    ... is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate. (Murder in general that falls into this category)

    I think that the first is less likely, but possible.
    Then the version "Murder is a first degree murder when ..." must be wrong cause "murder in general" can not be "an instance of murder" at the same time.
    All the other versions are possible. Right?
    I am not a teacher. Neither am I a native speaker of English.

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