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    #1

    problem with the use of word "such"

    Hi, I always have some difficult in using the word-"such". Can I say, "some of such attempts failed but some succeeded"? Another example, "such understandings are crucial to our work". Am I right in these two usages? Thank you so much!

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    #2

    Re: problem with the use of word "such"

    1 Some of these/those attempts failed. If there were different types of attempts and all of one sort failed, you could say 'such attempts failed' when talking about that one kind.
    2 This is OK, but use understanding uncountably- such understanding is crucial to our work.

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    #3

    Re: problem with the use of word "such"

    Thank you for the answer. Can you please explain a little more why understanding should be uncountably? I remembered I read somewhere sentences like this, "there is a mutual understanding between us..." Thanks a lot!

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    #4

    Re: problem with the use of word "such"

    I don't think that "such understanding" has anything to do with the countability of the noun 'understanding'. It is countable at all times. The omission of the indefinite article 'an' must have other explanations.

    Take for instance:

    There's no such thing as free speech. (this is a standard expression; 'thing' is still countable, though no ind. article)

    There's such divinity in the air... (meaning 'so much' / of an extreme degree or quality; 'divinity is countable)

    See the difference:

    You are such a nice boy. (such doesn't have the meaning of 'so much', or of an extreme degree or quality. It merely implies admiration; otherwise: 'You are an extremely nice boy' - which intensifies the meaning.)
    Last edited by bianca; 10-Jul-2007 at 21:24.

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    #5

    Re: problem with the use of word "such"

    So the use of "such understanding", instead of "such a understanding" or "such understandings", is more or less a common usage, without some strict grammar rule? Thanks.

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    #6

    Re: problem with the use of word "such"

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    It is countable at all times.
    You might want to check that statement:
    1 understanding (AGREEMENT) Show phonetics
    noun [C]
    an informal agreement between people:
    It took several hours of discussion before they could come to/reach an understanding.
    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
    2 understanding (SYMPATHY) Show phonetics
    noun [S or U]
    a positive, truthful, sympathetic relationship between two people or groups:
    For peace to exist in the region there needs to be a much improved understanding between all the parties concerned.
    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
    3 understanding (KNOWLEDGE) Show phonetics
    noun [u]
    knowledge about a subject, situation, etc. or about how something works:
    She doesn't have any understanding of politics/human nature/what it takes to be a good manager.
    My understanding of the agreement (= What I think it means) is that they will pay 50 000 over two years.
    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press

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    #7

    Re: problem with the use of word "such"

    Thank you. This is very helpful.

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