"disease" vs "diseases"

Questions from teachers about English grammar and usage

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"disease" vs "diseases"

Unread post by tinagik » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:27 am

Hello! I was wondering if anyone could tell me which would be considered correct in part 2 of the CAE listening paper. I would think both, but I just wanted to verify. I would think "disease" would be used in a general sense, whereas "diseases" would be referring to many different kinds of diseases. Here are the sentences:

"It also increases the human body's ability to fight disease/infection". These are the correct answers according to my teacher's manual.

Couldn't this also be correct?
"It also increases the human body's ability to fight diseases/infections".

Thank you!

Kind regards, Tina

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Re: "disease" vs "diseases"

Unread post by Syl » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:33 pm

Please have a look at the definitions on Oxford Dictionary site: http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries ... es#disease

The example given on that site,
"A fatty diet increases the risk of heart disease." is very appropriate and similar to the correct use regarding your question. Although the second possibility, using the word as a countable noun, is also acceptable. Let's say that both are correct, depending on the intention of whom is writing or saying the sentence.


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