Email

Status
Not open for further replies.

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Someone posted that it was uncountable only, which I don't agree with. ;-)
 

MikeNewYork

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
tdol said:
Someone posted that it was uncountable only, which I don't agree with. ;-)

As I see it used, it is countable. :wink:
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Definitely countable. Example:
  • I sent several emails today.

:)
 
S

Susie Smith

Guest
RonBee said:
Definitely countable. Example:
  • I sent several emails today.

:)

Now, that's a good question and one I've often asked myself.
Email is short for electronic mail. So it's a kind of mail. Mail is considered uncountable, isn't it?

I received many pieces of mail. / I received much mail.
I received many e-mail messages. I sent a lot of e-mail.

I'd say that e-mail is uncountable but that it's "acceptable in informal English" to say e-mails because a lot of people do it.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
I see no need for it to follow the example of mail. I can count them in my inbox- I'd never heard this argument- in BE, it's fine in the most formal language. ;-)
 

henry

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Yoah. I also can count my mails in my box. Today I've already received exactly 37 emails. :eek:

8)
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Susie Smith said:
Email is short for electronic mail. So it's a kind of mail. Mail is considered uncountable, isn't it?

I received many pieces of mail. / I received much mail.
I received many e-mail messages. I sent a lot of e-mail.

I'd say that e-mail is uncountable but that it's "acceptable in informal English" to say e-mails because a lot of people do it.

We don't use the word 'mail' in BE, which might make a difference.;-)
 
S

Susie Smith

Guest
tdol said:
Susie Smith said:
Email is short for electronic mail. So it's a kind of mail. Mail is considered uncountable, isn't it?

I received many pieces of mail. / I received much mail.
I received many e-mail messages. I sent a lot of e-mail.

I'd say that e-mail is uncountable but that it's "acceptable in informal English" to say e-mails because a lot of people do it.

We don't use the word 'mail' in BE, which might make a difference.;-)

I didn't know that. What do you say? Letters, parcels, etc.?
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
We'd say 'I got a lot of post'. Letters, parcels, etc, would be the countable versions. ;-)
 
S

Susie Smith

Guest
tdol said:
We'd say 'I got a lot of post'. Letters, parcels, etc, would be the countable versions. ;-)


So, why don't you guys call it electronic post? Then we could argue about whether it should be epost or eposts. :lol:
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
We tend to take computing terms directly from American; we write 'TV prgramme', but 'computer program'. ;-)
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Absolutely, what? ;-)
 

queenmaabd

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Member Type
English Teacher
Although email originally comes from the term electronic mail, it is used as a general term referring to all the electronic mail (therefore can be uncountable, like the word mail) but also to refer to one single piece of mail. As the term electronic letter is not accepted (who would think of it?) we use email in a specific countable way, thus rendering it countable as well!
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
I agree completely with you.;-)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top