Anonymous:
Hello all,

I have yet to find a satisfactory explanation for the plural and negation agreement. Should on say "I have no objections" or I have no objection". Or "I have no remorses" vs "I have no remorse"

Anyone can shed some light on this issue?

Thanks a thousand times

John
remorse is uncountable. It will have to remain in the singular.

I have no remorse.

objection
is countable. One may have more than one objection. So either the singular or the plural is possible.

I have no objection.
I have no objections.


To my ear, the singular sounds better in these cases, at least when the sentences are not placed in context. Context may generate a tendency to use the singular in some cases, the plural in others.

-- Where are those pens I gave you yesterday. I need them.
-- What pens are you talking about? I have no pens./ I don't have any pens.

-- What did you do with that pen I lent you. Can you return it soon?
-- Are you confusing me with someone else? You gave me no pen. / You didn't give me any pen.


CJ
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Anonymous:
Ok, that's a good start CJ. However, is the countable rule the unique way to tackle this problem?

Cheers,

John
Hi,

Perhaps a slightly different way to look at it is that speaking of 'no objections' acknowledges that there may/may have been the possibility of multiple objections.

Best wishes, Clive
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is the countable rule the unique way to tackle this problem?
I doubt it. If so, it would be surprising. There are, more often than not, multiple ways of approaching such situations. Do you have another approach that you prefer? What is the general shape of the "solution" to the problem that you envision? Are you looking for a never-fail rule of some kind, for example?

CJ
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Can you say the general solution? Is the general shape of the solution different from the general solution?

What's the general shape mean here?
Full Member237
'general shape of' invites more discussion on various aspects of a possible solution. Which aspects are more important, which are less important, how much depth or rigor is required, and so on. It's like asking "What kind of solution did you have in mind?" 'general solution' suggests one statement that solves everything at once. Normally, we can't arrive at a general solution for someone until we have an idea of the general shape (i.e., the sort) of the solution they are looking for, and then later, an even more specific idea to what they are looking for, so that we arrive at a solution, whether general or particular, by a series of stepwise refinements.

CJ
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