[Grammar] 500 kinds of hammer/ hammers

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patran

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Dear Teachers

In the following setnence, should I use "hammer" or "hammers"? Or both correct, but different meanings? Please advise.

"It was possible to buy five hundred kinds of hammer/hammers in Britain."


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Anthony
 

MikeNewYork

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Technically, it should be "hammer", but you will see and hear both.
 

Barb_D

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BobK

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Technically, it should be "hammer", but you will see and hear both.

Welcome back Mike - long time no see :hi:. I'm relieved to know the singular gets your vote. I thought it was a BE/AE thing.


b
 

Gillnetter

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Welcome back Mike - long time no see :hi:. I'm relieved to know the singular gets your vote. I thought it was a BE/AE thing.


b
I think it is a BE/AE thing. I've never heard "hammer" instead of "hammers". My first thought was that it might be an east Coast, west coast thing but friends on the east coast are not familiar with that usage either.
 

Barb_D

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This is one of the differences I was entirely unaware of.

Only the plural works in the US (assuming it's a countable noun).
 

SoothingDave

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People can be dumber than a bag of hammers or a box of rocks.

"57 different kinds of cheese" I can see. "23 different kinds of car" just sound wrong.
 

Tdol

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Only the plural works in the US (assuming it's a countable noun).

In BrE, it can be both- a countable noun or a single theoretical tool type. I'll go heretical and say that, unlike BobK, I am more likely to use the plural.
 

BobK

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I'm not a zealot, just old-fashioned.

b
 

MikeNewYork

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Thanks for the welcome. The word "kinds" is already plural. Hammer is the prototype and there is no need to pluralize it. But it happens a lot.
 

MikeNewYork

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Actually the singular works in the US as well. This is one of those things that people disagree about. But logically, there is no reason to pluralize "kinds" and "hammer". A hammer is a general thing. Then there are variants -- different types of hammer.
 

konungursvia

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Thanks for the welcome. The word "kinds" is already plural. Hammer is the prototype and there is no need to pluralize it. But it happens a lot.

This is correct. I almost never hear the second noun in the plural. Here, it's "500 kinds of hammer." The alternative, "500 kinds of hammers" sounds as good as "I's the buy that builds the boat and I's the buy that sails 'er."
 
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