I think the word 'education' is a variable noun, which I am sure means that if one uses refer to abstract things, he is using it as an uncountable noun; whereas, if one uses to refer to individual instances of that thing, he is using it as a countable noun. Now, can you put that definition of a sort into practice and provide me with some examples?

Thank you.

I am sure context will make the choice clear but is there any difficulty you anticipate for someone who is trying to figure out whether a word is an uncountable noun turned into a countable noun or just being a countable noun part of a variable noun if a word, 'education', has a descriptive adjective in front of it and an indefinite article, 'a', before the adjective?


a sufficient/deplorable/inadequate education -- an uncountable noun turned countable or a countable part (version?) of its variable nature??
I think you have described the difference perfectly.
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I just came across a quote where you have "an education". I tried to find an explanation to this in my grammar books but I didn't. I tried the internet and I coincidentally found your question. The quote is by William Feather "An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t. It’s knowing where to go to find out what you need to know; and it’s knowing how to use the information you get." (http://www.bartleby.com/73/486.html ) A student showed me this and I couldn't give her an appropriate answer. So if somebody knows it will also help me.

Which article is to be put before education?Tell me please.