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  1. #1
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    government, governments

    Hello,

    fight corruption
    …….. omitted ……..
    Meaning: to try to prevent corruption in government and business

    For example:
    •If governments were serious about fighting corruption, we'd see more politicians in jail.
    https://www.englishclub.com/ref/esl/Collocations/F/fight_corruption_3813.htm

    Why is the noun ‘government’ used in different ways?
    In one case, it is used as an uncountable noun, while in the other case it is used as a countable one.

    Thank you
    Last edited by Soseki; 24-Sep-2017 at 02:32.

  2. #2
    Soseki is offline Junior Member
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    Re: government, governments

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    The simple answer is: Because that is the way the noun 'government' is used in the two sentences.

    a) The boy ate an apple. b) The boy ate two apples. "apple" is certainly a countable noun, as is 'government'. In the meaning given, 'governments' could easily be used and it still makes good sense.
    Thank you very much.


    Is anything wrong if Meaning: to try to prevent corruption in government and business
    were written in such a way as:
    Meaning: to try to prevent corruption in governments and businesses

  3. #3
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: government, governments

    Quote Originally Posted by Soseki View Post
    Meaning: to try to prevent corruption in government and business
    Here, "government" is used as a mass noun and refers to the system/institution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soseki View Post
    If governments were serious about fighting corruption, we'd see more politicians in jail.
    Here, "government" is used as a countable noun to refer to actual individual governments of countries.

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/government
    Last edited by teechar; 24-Sep-2017 at 12:57. Reason: evil quote tags

  4. #4
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: government, governments

    Quote Originally Posted by Soseki View Post
    Thank you very much.


    Is anything wrong if Meaning: to try to prevent corruption in government and business
    were written in such a way as:
    Meaning: to try to prevent corruption in governments and businesses
    The original version expresses the idea best. We're talking about systemic corruption.
    I am not a teacher.

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