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Sources of confusion with countable and uncountable nouns



The notion of countable and uncountable can be confusing.

Some nouns can be countable or uncountable depending on their meaning. Usually a noun is uncountable when used in a general, abstract meaning (when you don't think of it as a separate object) and countable when used in a particular meaning (when you can think of it as a separate object).

For example:-

glass - Two glasses of water. (Countable) | A window made of glass. (Uncountable) |glasses - I wear glasses. (Always plural)

Some supposedly uncountable nouns can behave like countable nouns if we think of them as being in containers, or one of several types.

This is because 'containers' and 'types' can be counted.

Believe it or not each of these sentences is correct:-

Doctors recommend limiting consumption to two coffees a day.
(Here coffees refers to the number of cups of coffee)
You could write; "Doctors recommend limiting consumption to two cups of coffee a day."

The coffees I prefer are Arabica and Brazilian.
(Here coffees refers to different types of coffee)
You could write; "The types of coffee I prefer are Arabica and Brazilian."

!Note - In good monolingual dictionaries, uncountable nouns are identified by [U] and countable nouns by [C].

1. The Using of Gerund

2. Gerunds:
Form and Use (#1)

  Gerunds are -ing forms of verbs, but they are not part of any verb tense. Instead, they are used as nouns. Notice that
1.   Most gerunds are the -ingform (base form + -ing) of a verb .
     
2.   Gerunds may be affirmative or negative. Negatives are formed by putting notbefore the -ing form.

Gerunds may be used exactly as nouns are used. Their most
common uses are

1.   as subjects;
     
2.   as objects of verbs and prepositions;
     
3.   as subject complements.

Examples:

Subjects

Swimming is excellent exercise.

Drinking too much coffee gives him a headache.

Eating too quickly gave him an upset stomach.

Not doing his homework caused him to fail the test.

Not having an answering machine causes him
to miss many calls.

Objects

He dislikes doing homework.

The manager suggested having our meeting
away from the office.

He proposed meeting in a restaurant.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

She's worried about missing her bus.

Are you tired of studying?

She's depressed about not passingthe test.

He's nervous because of not being on time.



He's tired from not getting enough sleep.

Subject Complements

His hobby is playing computer games.

My least favorite chore is cleaning the bathroom.

His problem is not coming to class on time.

Special Notes:

1.   Notice, in the examples above, that gerunds can have objects and be followed by modifiers: Drinking too much coffee gives him a headache. Eating too quickly gave him an upset stomach. Not doing his homework caused him to fail the test.

Card 27

1. London. Sightseeing of London

2. Passive Voice

3. Practical task

Card 28

1. Phraseology. Types of phraseological units

2. Participle

3. Practical task





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