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Jungdeok Choi
Does anyone let me know how to distinguish between uncountable and countable nouns? I have had some problems with grammar. Looking for the meaning of the word 'part', I couldn't help coming to ask for your help. [noncount] - Come join us and be part of a winning team. - She wanted to be part of the action. [count] - They considered her a part of the family. - He was an important part of the team's win. This is what I always have in trouble. I am completely not sure when to use 'a' or not to use it. They look so similiar. Please somebody helps me!
Oct 4, 2016 11:06 AM
Answers · 2
It's a difficult problem. Luckily, modern English is much less restrictive and few people will notice the difference. It's pretty common for natural English speakers to say things like "they considered her part of the family", or "Come join us and be a part of a winning team", for example. On the other hand, with some sentences it is important. The best method is probably going to be to just practice lots and get a feel from it. I think this case (using 'part') in particular is especially tricky, and there's no entirely strict rules that allow you to tell the difference. The final example is perhaps the most important: qualifying 'part' (with 'important', or 'minor' or 'major') forces us to use 'a' or 'an'. For example: "Come join us and be a key part of a winning team" requires us to have the 'a'.
October 4, 2016
Jungdeok Choi
Language Skills
English, Korean
Learning Language