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    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 14
    #1

    imagination

    Why has THE been used in this sentence if a noun IMAGINATION is uncountable?

    He couldn't possibly have written that. He lacks THE imagination.


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 554
    #2

    Re: imagination

    Because it is a shortened form of 'He lacks the imagination necessary to do so.' In this the 'imagination' referred to is specific as it is defined.

    There is no rule that says uncountable nouns cannot be used with a definite article. Indeed where the noun refers to something specific it is usual to use one. e.g. 'Pass the salt please.'

    It would, however, be wrong to try to use an indefinite article with an uncountable noun as the indefinite article contains the meaning 'one'.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 14
    #3

    Re: imagination

    thanks, I get the message. so if I'd like to say that he hasn't got imagination at all not referring to any specific action, then can I say:
    He lacks imagination?


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 554
    #4

    Re: imagination

    Yes you are absolutely right.

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