I sometimes have difficulties in correctly using the phrases like "great knowlege" and "great effort" because I am not sure whether I have to put "a" in front of them in sentences.


People in the class have (a) great knowledge of physical science.

It required (a) great effort on my part.

Can you give me some clear guidelines as to this aspect of grammar if you caught the nature of my dilemma? Possibly need some finely contectualized examples with good explanations.
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The first thing you need to know before putting "a / an" in front of a noun is whether it is a count or non-count noun.

In your example, knowledge is a non-count noun. In this case, we don't use "a / an" in front of the word.

The word "effort" however can be both count or non-count depending on usage. In your example of "great effort", the sentence sounds better without "a" because you are trying to use effort in a general sense i.e. the amount of work that was involved.
Thank you, it was a great knowledge enhancer.
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In these two phrases, "a great knowedge" and "a great effort", are "As" articles for the words "knowledge" and "effort" and "great" is adjectives?
How would you reconcile the fact that Mr. Paco said that in these two instances (as Mr. Paco said), both sentences are correct when those two do not follow your reasoning?

(o) He has a great knowedge of medical science.

(o) He has great knowledge of medical science.

P/S note that in both instances, knowledge is functioning as uncountables.

Personally, I think both sentences are correct when I read them instinctively.
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Both sentences are correct. The first knowledge is countable-- great is a 'kind' of knowledge. The second knowledge is uncountable, and great refers to the quantity of it.
AnonymousThank you, it was a great knowledge enhancer.
I'm not sure if this was from the same 'Anonymous' but in the underlined text, the noun is actually enhancer, and not knowledge. Using 'a' here is acceptable, if that was what you were trying to say.

Out of curiousity, if knowledge can be a countable noun, what is the plural form, Mr. M?
It could only be knowledges, Jay. I doubt you'll see it that often: it is more in the concept than the actualization; still, Mr Google gives us almost a million pages, and here are some examples:

Valuing all cultural knowledges requires more than one culture being present...
The purpose of Indigenous Knowledges Conference is to promote discussion and ..
Cultural, Cross-Cultural, and Multicultural Knowledges...
The country versus the city as sites of conflicting knowledges.
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