kps33
prejudice's countibility "I had negative prejudice about classical movies." In this sentence, why should I add "a" before "negative"? I looked up the word "prejudice" in my dictionary, but it says just "countable and uncountable." Could you explain when "prejudice" is countable and when it is uncountable?
Feb 4, 2016 10:21 PM
Answers · 12
The sentence you quoted is awkward and no native speaker would write like that. The problems: 1. Prejudice is always negative. It is silly or even stupid to write "negative prejudice" as if there was such a thing as "positive prejudice". 2. There are classic movies - movies from the past that are well liked across generations over time. A better expression is "cinema classics". "Mission Impossible", "Star Wars", "Gone With the Wind" and "The Sound of Music" are cinema classics. I don't think anyone knows what "classical movies" means. We don't use such a term. 3. The syntax is non-native. The way to write it is, "I was prejudiced against cinema classics." This is what "prejudice" means: "Dislike, hostility, or unjust behaviour deriving from preconceived andunfounded opinions". When we are talking about prejudice as general hostility, we treat it as an uncountable noun. Example: Gay people have long suffered prejudice in Korea. When we are talking about a particular preconceived and unfounded view, we treat "prejudice" as a countable noun. Example: She has a deep-seated prejudice against Harrods Department Store.
February 4, 2016
G'day kps33, This is quite a grammatical question, and i know in Korean 'a, the, an' don't exist, instead using counters like 개, 마리, 권 etc. In English a countable noun is a noun which can be counted; e.g I had A cup of coffee = i drank one coffee He ate AN apple for lunch = He only ate one apple for lunch. A and AN are used as counters to indicate = 1 thing, object, idea, concept etc. However, sometimes, a noun can be counted even without A and An, it depends on the context: e.g The man voiced his opinion = The man said what what on his mind, BUT it states 'opinion' NOT 'opinions' so that indicates that the man only has 1 opinion. SO this is still countable. Uncountable nouns, are nouns which simply either can't be PLURAL or need a 'counter' in order to be made plural: "I want A milk" = is incorrect, since milk cannot be counted = milks, also is not a word. We have to say "I want A BOTTLE of milk" This is no different to 권, 개, 마리 etc. news = newses? = is not a word, uncountable = a PIECE of news, SEVERAL PIECES of news Furniture = a furniture? = in correct, uncountable = A PIECE of furniture This is tricky because, there are so many words that are countable or uncountable, and the only way to learn them is when you find them. As for "I had negative prejudice about classical movies" = "Prejudice" can be counted = "I have A prejudice against people who fart in class" = I have only 1 prejudice. "He holds MANY prejudices against his people" = He has A LOT of things that he dislikes about his people "I have A negative prejudice against classical movies" would be grammatically perfect! I hope this is okay? If not, i can re-write in Korean (with lots of mistakes :)
February 4, 2016
Firstly, your sentence would be much better if it were written like this: "I had a prejudice against classic movies." It's true that "prejudice" can be both countable and uncountable, but so can many other words. In these cases, the uncountable form is a general feeling or belief, and the countable form is a more limited and specific one. For example, we can say "Religion is very important to most people" (here we're talking about religion as a concept) or we can say, "There are many different religions in the world" (now we're referring to specific religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, etc.).
February 4, 2016
It is indeed both countable and uncountable . Whether do to use the one or the other depends on the context and is left to one's own discretion . In this example : a negative prejudice is the suitable form to use ,treating 'prejudice 'as a countable noun here .The prejudice here is specified ! Other examples to clarify : - This is a prejudice arising from our previous experiences . Here imagine you are using another noun in a sentence starting the same way " This is a problem ' You will definitely use an article here ,you wouldn't say 'This is problem ' So depending on the position of 'prejudice ' in the sentence you will decide whether to consider it countable or not . - Some of the judgments expressed in these books are warped by prejudice . Would you here say ' by a prejudice ' or 'by the prejudice' ? It is by prejudice in general , it is not specified ! The sentence doesn't specify any kind of prejudice to make it countable . I hope this explains it somehow :)
February 4, 2016
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kps33
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Korean
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)