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Hello!

Can anybody please explain me the difference (if it exists) between the nouns use, asage, using? And please, clarify whether I should always place the article the before them. For example, which sentences are correct?


1. I am interested in (the) use of these words.

2. I am interested in (the) usage of these words.

3. I am interested in (the) using of these words.
I am at a loss... Emotion: sad

P.S. Please, check if I have used the underlined articles correctly in this post.
Comments  
Hello Ruslana

"Use" has two usages. The first one is as an uncountable noun and in this usage "use of X" means "activity of using X".
(EX) The use of the four-letter word is taboo on TV.
In the second usage of "use", "use" is a countable noun and "a use of X" in this usage means "a purpose or function of using X".
(EX) I am now talking about two uses of the word 'use'.
"Usage of X" is "a customary or established way of using X". It sometimes overlap in the usage with the "use of X" of the second usage.
(EX) The linguists discussed the usages of the word.
"Using" is the gerund or present participle of the verb "use".

1. I am interested in the* use of these words. (OK)
2. I am interested in the* usage of these words.(OK)
3. I am interested in using these words.
* Because you are talking about some words defined by the determiner "these", you need to make "use" or "usage" definite by putting THE before it.

paco
Hello, Paco,

Thank you for the answer.

How fool must I be if I have said that "using" is a noun! I have never expected such a stupid mistake of myself...

The question has become a bit clearer for me now. Paco, would you mind giving me some more examples of using "use" and "usage" with and without articles?

And there is one more question I still don't know the answer to. The question is whether I used correctly the underlined articles in my post above. Could anybody tell it to me, please? Paco, what do you think?
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Hello Ruslana
The question has become a bit clearer for me now. Paco, would you mind giving me some more examples of using "use" and "usage" with and without articles?
Uncountable "use" without THE.
(EX) Do you want to [make use of] (=use) this camera?
(EX) I may [have use for](=use) this book later.
(EX) You will find it [of great use] (=very useful).

Uncountable "use" with THE.
(EX) The use of English was banned in Japan during WWII.
(EX) This dormitory is [for the use of] girls. (to be used for)
(EX) My father gave me [the use for] the car. (the right to use)
(EX) He lost [the use of] his right hand. (the ability to use)

Countable "use" without THE.
(EX) This tool has many uses.
(EX) Show me some uses for this word.
(EX) Which one is right as a use of the word?

Countable "use" with THE.
(EX) This is the only use of the material.
(EX) The UN investigated the uses of nuclear material in Iraq.
(EX) The uses of computers in education are many and varied.

Uncountable "usage" without THE
(EX) This machine has had rough usage.
(EX) This word is not in common usage in English.

Uncountable "usage" with THE
(EX) The usage of weapons for political purposes should be banned.
(EX) They investigated the usage of English in Japan.

Countable "usage" without THE
(EX) There are many usages for this word.
(EX) This was a common usage of the phrase in those days.

Countable "usage" with THE.
(EX) Tell me all the usages of the word.
(EX) The usage is rather rare in modern English.
And there is one more question I still don't know the answer to. The question is whether I used correctly the underlined articles in my post above. Could anybody tell it to me, please? Paco, what do you think?
I think you used THE correctly

paco
Thank you, Paco.

All the examples you gave are clear to me exept two ones. Here they are.

The use of English was banned in Japan during WWII.
They investigated the usage of English in Japan.

I don't quite understand why it is THE there and whether it is correct to say just Use of English was banned in Japan during WWII and They investigated usage of English in Japan. I am trying to grasp it...
Hello Ruslana

I think we need to put THE before "use/usage of English". It is because "use/usage" is specified by "of English (=of the English language)".

paco

[PS] You might come across "Usage of English" in book titles.

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I know titles are usually written without any articles, that doesn't confuse me.

Do you mean that if there are any specifications we should always use "the"? For example, I am learning the use (or the usage) of English articles. You think there should be THE, don't you?
RuslanaI know titles are usually written without any articles, that doesn't confuse me.

Do you mean that if there are any specifications we should always use "the"? For example, I am learning the use (or the usage) of English articles. You think there should be THE, don't you?
When X of "X of (the) Y" is countable, you can say "a X of (the) Y" or "Xs of (the) Y". "Today I learned some uses of the English articles". "Here is a rod of iron". When X is uncountable, "X of (the) Y" is almost always modified by "the": the X of (the) Y. "She studied European history" but "She studied the history of Europa". One exception is "furniture". You can say either "the furniture of the 18th century" or "furniture of the 18th century".

paco
Many thanks, Paco! It seems I got it.
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