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countable usually singular, uncountable

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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countable usually singular, uncountable

Postby Bighug » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:59 am

Dear Alan
I use Longman English dictionary and I am not sure what it means: "countable usually singular, uncountable".
An example is a word "outcry" and they use "an outcry" which is clear. But are they "many" or "much" outcries? Is it possible to use "outcries"?
I understand what means what is an uncountable noun and what is a countable noun. But I do not understand the mix.
I thank you for your reply in advance.
Kind regards
Bighug
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Re: countable usually singular, uncountable

Postby Alan » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:25 am

It means that the plural form (outcries) is rarely used, and that the word occurs also as a noncount noun. Thus, while 'many outcries' theoretically exists, it is hardly ever used, whereas 'much outcry' would be (relatively) more commonly encountered.

Naturally, such collocations as *much outcries would be ungrammatical.
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