[Grammar] Uncountable nouns + using "Some of"

grammar123

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Hi, I'm confused by 2 grammar rules that seem to contradict each other:


1. Uncountable nouns don’t have plural forms!
Example: underwear and furniture have no plural form


2. The noun following one of, some of, none of and similar expressions must be plural in number


Now the confusion

I can say "some of my friends are coming to my party Tomorrow"

but can i say
"Some of my underwear are green " (verb subject dis-agreement?)
"Some of my underwear dont' fit me"
"some of my furniture must leave my appartement?"
"some of the news is negative"

I hear this a lot and underwear is not plural since "uncountable nouns don't have plural forms" so does it work? and how come?

Your help is much appreciated
Kind regards
 
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Charlie Bernstein

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Hi, I'm confused by two grammar rules that seem to contradict each other:

1. Uncountable nouns don’t have plural forms! Example: underwear and furniture have no plural form.

2. The noun following one of, some of, none of and similar expressions must be plural in number.

That's not true with some of and none of.


Since uncountable nouns don't have plural forms, (delete the quotes) does it work? And how come?

Now the confusion

I can say "some of my friends are coming to my party tomorrow."

Yes. Friends are countable. (Except for my countless no-accounts, who are unaccountable!)


but can I say
"Some of my underwear are green." (verb subject dis-agreement?) No. Say "Some or my underwear is green."
"Some of my underwear don't fit me." No. Say "Some of my underwear doesn't fit me."
"some of my furniture must leave my apartment?" Yes.
"some of the news is negative." Yes.

I hear this a lot, and underwear is not plural.

You hear bad English a lot. We all do. That doesn't mean you shouldn't learn good English.

Since uncountable nouns don't have plural forms, (delete the quotes) does it work?

Treat uncountable nouns as though they're singular.


A
nd how come?

I don't know. I can't explain many English language customs.


Your help is much appreciated.
Kind regards.
End all sentences with periods, exclamation points, or question marks.
 

grammar123

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End all sentences with periods, exclamation points, or question marks.

Thank you very much, I have one last question regarding one of and none of.


Can i say:

One of my furniture is leaving my apartment?
None of my furniture is leaving my apartment?
None of the news is positive?
 

GoesStation

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Thank you very much, I have one last question regarding one of and none of.


Can I say:

One of my furniture is leaving my apartment? :cross:
None of my furniture is leaving my apartment? :tick:
None of the news is positive? :tick:
;Always capitalize the word "I".
 

jutfrank

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Where are you getting your information?!

1. Uncountable nouns don’t have plural forms!

That's not strictly accurate. The 'rules' are these:

Nouns used uncountably are always singular in form.
(That's an important part of what makes them uncountable.)

That means that:

If a noun is in a plural form, it is being used countably. (The concept of plurality is a central part of the concept of countability.)

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as an uncountable or countable noun outside of a text. There is only uncountable or countable usage of nouns as they appear in language in use. So you may see waters, cheeses, and monies as well as more abstract notions like intelligences, loves and betrayals. But these words have different uses from their singular, uncountable counterparts.

Although there are many nouns that are almost exclusively used uncountably, none are out of bounds in principle.


2. The noun following one of, some of, none of and similar expressions must be plural in number

That's simply false. The noun phrase following one of must be plural in number. Following some of and none of, it may be singular.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Thank you very much, I have one last question regarding one of and none of.


Can i say:

One of my furniture is leaving my apartment?
None of my furniture is leaving my apartment?
None of the news is positive?
As I said in post #2, none of and some of are fine. I didn't include one of because it isn't.

I know it's not logical. It's idiomatic.
 

GoesStation

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I think it's logical. For example, one of my chairs is disassembled. Among all my chairs, one is different; it's in pieces.
 

jutfrank

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There's nothing illogical or idiomatic here.
 

grammar123

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Where are you getting your information?!



That's not strictly accurate. The 'rules' are these:

Nouns used uncountably are always singular in form.
(That's an important part of what makes them uncountable.)

That means that:

If a noun is in a plural form, it is being used countably. (The concept of plurality is a central part of the concept of countability.)

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as an uncountable or countable noun outside of a text. There is only uncountable or countable usage of nouns as they appear in language in use. So you may see waters, cheeses, and monies as well as more abstract notions like intelligences, loves and betrayals. But these words have different uses from their singular, uncountable counterparts.

Although there are many nouns that are almost exclusively used uncountably, none are out of bounds in principle.




That's simply false. The noun phrase following one of must be plural in number. Following some of and none of, it may be singular.

I got this information from http://www.perfectyourenglish.com/grammar/nouns-common-errors.htm
(bottom of page)
I won't use that website any more.

Okay so let me apply the rules you taught me :)

1 . Nouns used uncountably are always singular in form.

The news is negative.
Some of my furniture is black.
Noneof the information is correct

2. The noun phrase following one ofmust be plural in number. So since uncountable nouns are singular in form they can't be used here.

So is this WRONG?
One of my underwear is. black
One of the news is positive (clearly wrong)
one of my firniture is black.


3 A noun Following some of and none of, it may be singular.

some of my skin is
freckled.
some of the milk in the fridge is sour
None of the meat tastes. good


2. If a noun is in a plural form, it is being used countably

*So these nouns are being used countably?
Most dogs are happy.
Five apples a day keep the Doctor away.
None of the doctors seemed to understand my symptoms.


Thank you so much for your help!
Kind regards
Grammar123
 

Charlie Bernstein

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I think it's logical. For example, one of my chairs is disassembled. Among all my chairs, one is different; it's in pieces.
Yup. Chairs are countable. The question is whether we say one of my furniture is disassembled. We don't.

The one of/some of/none of custom isn't logical because none of is short for not one of, and while none (not one) of my furniture is fine, while one of my furnitures is wrong.

To be fair, we don't all agree on the exact meaning or correct use of none, so we often let it be used as a plural (None of us are going), so none of my furniture gets a free pass.
 
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Charlie Bernstein

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None is not short for not one. Etymologically, none may have originally come from Old English words meaning not one, but the word today exists in it own right, and has done so for many centuries. It means not one/any.
Thanks! Wish my dad were still alive. I'd finally win an argument! (Oh, Piscean, where were you when I needed you?)
 
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