[Vocabulary] article before admiration

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notletrest

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I came up with as follows in dictionaries:
1.t.ranstive verbs .+ (adjective) +admiration :
have,/express/ feel admiration,for,/of...win wide-spread admiration, express great-admiration, excite,/awaken universal admiration

That is to say before admiration without an indefinite article,even if there is an adjective before it.The examples are as above.
2.,travstive verb.+a+adjective+admiration:
cherish a profoud admiration, have a deep /great admiration
That is to say before admiration there must be with an indefinite article, if there is an adjective before it.The examples are as above.In fact some examples in 1. are in contradiction to those in 2. i.e. express great admiration, have a great admiration...,have admiration for,

Please explain the phenomenon,why should it be so.What is the rule for it and for orther nouns? By the way can we say like this: have an admiration for ,have deep admiration for...,If they are possible,give some examples , please in detail! Now may I put it clearly? Thank you very much!
 

philo2009

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In English, most normally non-count abstract nouns can be treated as countable (i.e. determined by an indefinite article) when they are modified by an adjective. Hence either 'profound admiration' or 'a profound admiration', 'great happiness' or 'a great happiness', etc.

In certain cases - e.g. names of meals - this becomes obligatory. Thus

I ate breakfast.

(and not *I ate a breakfast.)

but

I ate a big breakfast.

not

*I ate big breakfast.

As this is a case-by-case issue rather than a universal rule, when in doubt you would be best advised to check either with a native or by means of a good learner's dictionary, such as Collins Cobuild.
 
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