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  1. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    1) Yes. By definition, the fact that the noun phrase includes an indefinite article means that is countable.

    2) Abstract enough for what? The use of an article shows that the speaker is thinking of a particular act of choosing. Yes, that is abstract, but not as much as it would be without the article.

    Get rid of the idea of an 'uncountable meaning'. The notion of countability is really a grammatical, not a semantic one. I suggest you think about article usage as revealing how we can think about things in varying degrees of specificity. A zero article carries the lowest degree of specificity of the thing signified by its noun phrase, an indefinite article a higher degree, and a definite article a still higher degree. Other determiner phrases carry still higher degrees of specificity.

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    #12

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    The use of an article shows that the speaker is thinking of a particular act of choosing.
    You mean "there is always a choice" here = "you can always make a choice"? Why not "you have a range of possibilities"?

    Can I say, "you have choice," meaning "you have the possibility of choosing/right to choose"?

    Get rid of the idea of an 'uncountable meaning'.
    It's not easy, since dictionaries provide the count/non-count disctinction which I often rely on.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #13

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    You mean "there is always a choice" here = "you can always make a choice"? Why not "you have a range of possibilities"?

    Can I say, "you have a choice," meaning "you have the possibility of choosing/right to choose"?

    You can say:

    You have a choice

    Or:

    You have choices.
    Not a professional teacher

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #14

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    Can I say, "you have choice,"
    No. Unfortunately, that's not natural.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    It's not easy, since dictionaries provide the count/non-count distinction which I often rely on.
    I totally sympathize, but I don't think you should worry too much about that sort of thing. The key is to read as much as you can and acquire knowledge of English that way instead of looking up and trying to memorize dictionary sentences out of context.

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    #15

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    No. Unfortunately, that's not natural.
    What about the "have free choice" vs "have a free choice" distinction? I've noticed "a free choice" is often followed by prepositional phrases that make it specific, "a free choice in/of/about something." But I've also found bare examples (https://fraze.it/n_search.jsp?q=have...&findid=-1&ff=):

    Why do people still feel like they have a free choice?
    He does not bring up the fact that those people are told what job they can have and they do not have a free choice.

    Will there be any difference in meaning if I omit the article?


    Last edited by Alexey86; 22-Jan-2020 at 22:26.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #16

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    Will there be any difference in meaning if I omit the article?
    Yes. I've already explained this.

    I think you should forget about these distracting examples and focus on clarifying the fundamental distinctions in meaning apropos article usage.

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    #17

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Yes. I've already explained this.
    You have free choice. = You have the ability/possibility to choose freely as a human being.
    You have a free choice. = You have the possibility/right to choose something freely in a particular situation.

    Is this correct?

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    That's basically right, yes.

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    #19

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    That's basically right, yes.

    And "You have a choice" can convey either of these meanings depending on the context. Is this correct?

  10. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #20

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    And "You have a choice" can convey either of these meanings depending on the context. Is this correct?
    No, not really. Only the second. Thus the article. Haven't I already explained this?

    Note that neither of those sentences sounds very natural anyway. Avoid saying free choice entirely. What other kind of choice is there?
    Last edited by jutfrank; 22-Jan-2020 at 23:58.

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