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    #1

    Knowledge

    1. If knowledge is uncountable how can we then say:
    a wide knowledge of...?
    2. Is a liitle knowledge is dangerous coreect?


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    #2

    Re: Knowledge

    Because what you are now actually saying is,
    a wide range of knowledge
    a little bit of knowledge

    but these nouns have been omitted. Of all 'uncountable' knowledge, you are now referring to a segment of it, be it wide, little, vast (but implying not 'all')

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    #3

    Re: Knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Because what you are now actually saying is,
    a wide range of knowledge
    a little bit of knowledge

    but these nouns have been omitted. Of all 'uncountable' knowledge, you are now referring to a segment of it, be it wide, little, vast (but implying not 'all')
    Thanks David. So the quantity and the of contruction are left out. This is only possible in informal style. Am I right? Are there other examples where the quantity is left out becasue it is understood or too long.


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    #4

    Re: Knowledge

    Beat the flour and eggs, then add a little water.


    I'm not sure what you mean by 'informal style'. Do you mean, we could only say this in casual speech? In fact, the reference to 'knowledge' is actually a quote from a very famous poem, albeit, changed from the original phrasing:
    "A little learning is a dangerous thing." (Pope)
    Last edited by David L.; 27-Dec-2007 at 17:35.

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    #5

    Re: Knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Beat the flour and eggs, then add a little water.

    Grate a little cheese (in recipes, this means, a small amount, not the size of the cheese!)and sprinkle over the omelette.
    Thanks David for the examples but would you recommend them in formal style? I mean we do say: two coffees but mean two cups of coffee, because the quantity is understood since most people drink coffee out of cups. Sometimes however as with knowledge the quantity cannot be understood because it is not that familiar or popular like coffee.


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    #6

    Re: Knowledge

    Can you give me a couple of examples where you would have doubt?

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    #7

    Re: Knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Beat the flour and eggs, then add a little water.


    I'm not sure what you mean by 'informal style'. Do you mean, we could only say this in casual speech? In fact, the reference to 'knowledge' is actually a quote from a very famous poem, albeit, changed from the original phrasing:
    "A little learning is a dangerous thing." (Pope)
    Yes, I know Pope used in his "esaay on man" but he referred to learning not knowledge (they are of course the same in their countability status). But I think poetical licence allows such usage. However, if you write a formal text teachers often say no contractions and omissions are allowed.
    Last edited by in-grid; 27-Dec-2007 at 17:47.


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    #8

    Re: Knowledge

    Oh, now I see what you mean!
    This is not an instance where you are purposefully leaving words out, as occurs in memos and emails, or when we are writing a quick note to someone. The words like 'bit' and 'range' are 'understood' as being there. It is not so much whether a phrase such as 'a little tenderness' (=concern, sympathy) would be acceptable grammatically in a formal style, as whether expressions such as that sound too casual, flippant, for formal writing.

    So, "you might at least have shown a little compassion when you broke the bad news to her" would be too casual, but formally you might say,
    "A certain tenderness of voice and manner is an essential quality for the prospective Grief Counsellor."
    Last edited by David L.; 27-Dec-2007 at 18:50.

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    #9

    Re: Knowledge

    Thanks David for your help.

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