[Grammar] It's 'a' good news?

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Heidi

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Apr 30, 2009
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Chinese
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Dear teachers,

I need some help with the uncountable noun 'news' and the use of words 'aim' and 'distinguish'.

#1 Do we use 'a' before 'adjective plus uncountable noun', like 'it's a positive news', 'it's a great news'?

#2 Do we say 'I raised my hand and aimed the mosquito that was biting me' instead of 'aimed at the mosquito'?

#3 Do we say 'he is able to distinguish male and female mosquitoes' instead of 'distinguish between male and female mosquitoes'?

Thank you!
 

emsr2d2

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Jul 28, 2009
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Dear teachers,

I need some help with the uncountable noun 'news' and the use of words 'aim' and 'distinguish'.

#1 Do we use 'a' before 'adjective plus uncountable noun', like 'it's a positive news', 'it's a great news'?

No. We always say "That's great news", "I have news for you". We use the definite article when talking about reading or watching "I'm reading the news online" and "He was reading the news in the local paper".

#2 Do we say 'I raised my hand and aimed the mosquito that was biting me' instead of 'aimed at the mosquito'?

No. We always "aim at something", or "take aim at something". We don't use "at" when explaining what it is that you are using to aim "He aimed the gun at my head".

#3 Do we say 'he is able to distinguish male and female mosquitoes' instead of 'distinguish between male and female mosquitoes'?

If you said "he can distinguish male and female mosquitoes" then I would assume you meant that he can distinguish them (together) from perhaps another insect. If you mean that he can separate the males from the females, then you need "distinguish between".

Thank you!

See above.
 
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