[Vocabulary] a sport vs sport

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yuriya

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What is the difference between a sport and sport? That is, with or without an article: This is a sport VS This is sport.

One more thing. According to my dictionary, sport can be used to denote sporting activities collectively as in the world of sport. But then I'm more familiar with sports news than sport news. Are they interchangeable or is there a rule I'm not aware of?
 

Barb_D

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Hi yuriya,

Sports is one of the few nouns that takes a plural when used as an adjective.
We have a shoe store or even a pie shop, but a sports car, a sports arena, etc. When they get to the segment on the new when they talk about how local teams did, it's called "the sports" and in the newspaper it's "the sports section."

In the US, we would say "I enjoy sports" not "I enjoy sport."

If you asked me to describe American football, I may say "It's a sport sort of like rugby." I would never say "It is sport" or "This is sport."

So my short answer to you is "I wouldn't use 'sport' in the ways you have shown."
 

yuriya

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Hi yuriya,

Sports is one of the few nouns that takes a plural when used as an adjective.
We have a shoe store or even a pie shop, but a sports car, a sports arena, etc. When they get to the segment on the new when they talk about how local teams did, it's called "the sports" and in the newspaper it's "the sports section."

In the US, we would say "I enjoy sports" not "I enjoy sport."

If you asked me to describe American football, I may say "It's a sport sort of like rugby." I would never say "It is sport" or "This is sport."

So my short answer to you is "I wouldn't use 'sport' in the ways you have shown."

Thanks for sharing your insight. BTW, I'm reading this novel written by an American author(born in Connecticut, NYU graduate), he used the sentence (This is sport!), which kind of reminded me of the phrase "no games, just sports!"
 

BobK

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There's also 'a sport' in the sense of a person who is fun to be with, or who is surprisingly permissive; this usually has the article: 'Can I have an ice-cream? Just this once? It is a holiday, after all. Go on, be a sport!'

b
 

yuriya

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There's also 'a sport' in the sense of a person who is fun to be with, or who is surprisingly permissive; this usually has the article: 'Can I have an ice-cream? Just this once? It is a holiday, after all. Go on, be a sport!'

b

Thanks for your care and advice. How's the sentence (This is sport!) sound to your British ears?
 

BobK

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Thanks for your care and advice. How's the sentence (This is sport!) sound to your British ears?

If it means 'This is fun', then 'sport' is wrong. 'Sport' used to be used in this sense; the nursery rhyme 'Hey diddle diddle' has the words 'The little dog laughed to see such sport' (though more recent parents have changed it to 'The little dog laughed to see such fun').

b

PS 'This is sport' would work in a context meant 'sport' (in the sense of competition):
'Don't take it so seriously. It's not a matter of life and death!'
'No, it's more important than that. This is sport.'
 
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yuriya

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PS 'This is sport' would work in a context meant 'sport' (in the sense of competition):
'Don't take it so seriously. It's not a matter of life and death!'
'No, it's more important than that. This is sport.'

Thanks. But then again, what's the difference of sport with or without the article (This is sport VS This is a sport)?
 

BobK

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Thanks. But then again, what's the difference of sport with or without the article (This is sport VS This is a sport)?

This is sport - general (this is competitive activity of some unspecified kind)
This is a sport - specific

b
 

philadelphia

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How about that's sports? It sounds more AmE.

That's sport would then sound more BrE. Am I right? Maybe it depends on who say it - ei difference between an upper class, a medium class and a low class.

How is it in Australia or elswhere?
 
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BobK

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How about that's sports? It sounds more AmE.

That's sport would then sound more BrE. Am I right? Maybe it depends on who say it - ei difference between an upper class, a medium class and a low class.

How is it in Australia or elswhere?

:up: (Br, not Am). I wouldn't be surprised if Br usage began to adopt the plural in due course - already a few English people are saying 'track and field' rather than 'athletics'. But, for now, 'That's sport' is the norm in Br Eng.

b
 

Barb_D

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Can you suggest the context when you'd say "That's sport"?

I can't make "That's sports" sound very natural either.
 

philadelphia

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Can you suggest the context when you'd say "That's sport"?

I can't make "That's sports" sound very natural either.

That's sports: I have bumped into the following sentences on a website 'I firmly believe that non-sports fans [FONT=verdana, geneva]do[/FONT][FONT=verdana, geneva] have a passing interest in what's going on in sports, and that's where I come in. I always tailored my TV sportscast so that non-fans could understand [/FONT][FONT=verdana, geneva]it and ended each by saying “..and That’s Sports”[/FONT][FONT=verdana, geneva].'[/FONT]

That's sport and that's sports mean to me the same thing or so. - Eg Fans have just watched a football match and their lovely team have not won. They all say that's sports/that's sport. =>

-That's sports would mean that is the same in any sport (ei similar comparing with other sports), there are always winners and loosers.
-That's sport meaning that is part of sport, there are always winners and loosers

By the way, that's sport has to me the same kind of meaning of the idioms that's life and that is it.

However, I must admit that's sports seems uncorrect but might be commonly used in spoken English - what about it?

As a non-native speaker of English I take your words but try to figure out why both that's sport and that's sports are used.
 

Barb_D

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Your "that's life" analogy was the only one I could think of.

Like "Some is good, some is bad, some is fun, some is hard... but hey, what do you want? That's sports!"
 

yuriya

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How about that's sports? It sounds more AmE.

That's sport would then sound more BrE. Am I right? Maybe it depends on who say it - ei difference between an upper class, a medium class and a low class.

How is it in Australia or elswhere?

:up: (Br, not Am). I wouldn't be surprised if Br usage began to adopt the plural in due course - already a few English people are saying 'track and field' rather than 'athletics'. But, for now, 'That's sport' is the norm in Br Eng.

b

Here's what I found:
Sport [noncount] Brit : sports in general ▪ He's not interested in sport. [=(US) sports]

Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
 
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