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    #1

    countable and uncountable words

    I got the following sentences from Articles and it messes up my sense of countable and uncountable nouns:


    ...you have two article choices: , a/an. The choice of article depends on the noun. Ask yourself, "What kind of noun is it?"

    I think the sentence you should read...The choice of an article (since we have two articles - , a/an - and article is not an uncountable noun) depends on a noun (since noun is a countable word). ..."What kind of a noun is it?" (since noun is a countable word).

    Why do "article" and "noun" are used asuncountable words?

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    #2

    Re: countable and uncountable words

    In both cases, I think the original is fine.
    1 choice of article- The indefinite article is unnecessary- we are always only going to choose one article, so the focus is on the choice, not the number, though including it is OK.
    2 depends on the noun- I disagree with the indefinite article here as we are moving towards a specific noun- the one that you are considering, even theoretically, as in any choiice you will always be considering a specific noun.
    3 what kind of noun- It's fine with or without the article.

    Last edited by Tdol; 11-Jul-2007 at 08:49.

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    #3

    Re: countable and uncountable words

    Dear Tdol,
    Thank you for your clarification it has really helped me. One more question from "depend on the noun":

    which of the following is then correct to use?

    1) The extent to which citizens can hold their public officials accountable depends on the size of a community.

    2)The extent to which citizens can hold their public officials accountable depends on the size of the community.

  1. #4

    Re: countable and uncountable words

    Quote Originally Posted by kooiu View Post
    Dear Tdol,
    Thank you for your clarification it has really helped me. One more question from "depend on the noun":

    which of the following is then correct to use?

    1) The extent to which citizens can hold their public officials accountable depends on the size of a community.

    2)The extent to which citizens can hold their public officials accountable depends on the size of the community.
    I would say that "2" is marginally better, because the community in question is the specific community in which the citizens in question live, not an arbitrary community.

    However, I would, in this particular case, say:

    3) The extent to which citizens can hold their public officials accountable depends on the size of their community

    ... which reinforces the specificality of the community in question.


    There is, while we're on the subject, one other area where definite/indefinite articles can be confusing:

    It is technically correct to write:

    "Ford, an American car company"

    ... because there are several car companies in America, of which Ford is only one.

    However, common (British) English usage would be to say

    "Ford, the American car company"

    ... because it is assumed that the reader would have heard of the Ford Motor Company, and the clause is there to distinguish that unique Ford from, say, the former US President.

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    #5

    Re: countable and uncountable words

    Thank you MarkHarrison. Your reply has come to help me. Thank you

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