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Hi,
Can anyone please tell me why Mr. M said what he said here in a post named 'article'? When you have something specific as payment of 400 dollars, why is the post-referencing an uncountable noun isn't as attractive as the post-referencing a countable noun or isn't right as the case might be??
Pasting from a post named 'article':

Anonymous (missing image) #547912 Tue, 29 Jul 08 11:11 AM

Thank you.

What is the difference?
1.They reached agreement and the agreement was for the payment of 400 dollars.
2.They signed an agreement and the agreement was payment of 400 dollars.

I think the first one is grammatically correct and uses an uncountable noun, whereas the second one is grammatically correct too and uses a countable noun.

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Anonymous



Nouns , Uncountable nouns , Countable nouns



    Mister Micawber (missing image) #547999 Tue, 29 Jul 08 01:33 PM

    .
    The first is poor style or humorous wordplay, to my mind.

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    AnonymousCan anyone please tell me why Mr. M said what he said
    I don't think anyone around here reads minds. Only Mr. M. can answer as to the reasons for his answer, and it seems to me that he already has given reasons.
    As for your sentences, I don't see anything problematic with them except as corrected below:

    1.They reached agreement, and the agreement was for the payment of 400 dollars.
    2.They signed an agreement, and the agreement was for the payment of 400 dollars.
    The only difference is the difference between the verb reach and the verb sign, and you can easily find those in any dictionary. Emotion: smile
    reach agreement is a fixed idiom where an article is not needed.
    ___

    Just for future reference, I think it would be more polite to ask your questions without challenging others specifically by name. Such challenges diminish your chances of receiving an answer, because no one wishes to get into an unpleasant discussion where it's more important to prove someone right or wrong than it is to understand the principles of English grammar.

    CJ
    Comments  
    Hi, I would like to have some answers (or an answer) if possible. The problem is I don't see no. 1 as word play but see as a correct sentence.
    Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
     CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
    Thank you, CalifJim and Mr. M. No, no. I wasn't trying to put anyone who answers my question in a dubious position as having to prove or disprove anyone in an excellent standing like Mr. M. I was trying to find an answer to this question, which I consider important to know the answer to.

    You said:
    reach agreement is a fixed idiom where an article is not needed.

    I was basing my argument in terms of using an uncountable noun or a countable noun. I find words like 'agreement' and 'discussion' listed as uncountable if they are thought to be processes, whereas they are listed as countable if they are thought to be a tangible document or an instance of them.

    reaching agreement, thinking it as something of a process, makes it hard to convince myself of validity/correctness of its later use as in "the agreement was for the payment of 400 dollars."

    It's very clear if we are talking about a document, which I think it is that if we use agreement countably.

    signd an agreement and the agreement was for the payment of 400 dollars. -- very clear.

    A similar argument (if I may call that) can be laid out for the use of the word 'discussion':

    1,The issue is under discussion and once a decision is reached on the discussion, we will notify you promptly.
    2.We were having a discussion on the matter and once a decision is reached on the discussion, we will notify you promptly.

    Is 'under discussion' an idomatic phrase or a case involving the use of an uncountable noun? Whew. even asking a question of this nature is difficult for me.

    Thank you, again.