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countables uncountables 
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:17 am
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Post countables uncountables
I HAVE A PROBLEM ABOUT COUNTABLES .I HAVE BEEN CONFUSED ABOUT THESE WORDS.
CORN,CHİCKEN (as a meat),
are they countable or not?


Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:12 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
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Location: Tohoku Japan
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to my understanding:

if you are just talking about what kind of meat then it isn't countable, like beef etc

but chicken can be an animal too, thats different

as for "corn"; that is also uncountable (at least for me?)

(I am from NZ, so I can't say for America etc)


Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:05 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:16 am
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Location: Brazil
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same in USA. Corn is uncountable as is any grain and so is any meat.

We count units of meat and corn.

For example a cob of corn or a bowl of corn.

A patty of ground meat. A chicken nugget. A slice of ham.

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Steve
Mister Young's English Class
Minas Gerais, Brasil


Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:11 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:17 am
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Post what about cherry?
thank you for every one about corn and chicken (as a meat)
I thougt my students corn as uncountable but in the coursebook ,there is a word CORNS.Now they will be confused.How will I explain this to them?
Also cherry is countable?Am ı right?


Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:41 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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Food is a really tough area to deal with count (c) and noncount nouns (NC). Unfortunately it's also the place where the distinction is so important.

As far as eating the object:
I generally tell students that if it's something a single person would eat entirely then it's C noun; cherries, oranges, apples, bananas, pears.
If it's something one person generally only eats a portion of in a setting, it's a NC noun; watermelon, steak, chicken, cake, pizza, lemon, lime.

If we are speaking of handling the items, they can all be C, because we're dealing with the object as a whole and on a scale of multiples.
'The clerk spent all day stacking watermelons.'
'I bought six pizzas for the party.'
'I put the grapefruits in the fridge.'

If you are talking about the food as a taste, it's NC.
'I like cherry (soda).'
'I like grape (ice cream).'

If you are talking about variations of the same thing, it's C.
Let say there were several different breeds of watermelon available at the buffet counter. The host might ask 'Did you like the watermelons?'

Then there's general (NC) and specific (C).
"Crime is a problem. Violent crimes have seen a decrease in the past year, though."

We can count them but it would be pointless, NC:
grass, rice, hair, corn (maybe corn here because western culture tends to strip the corn kernels from the cob and eat it that way - I'm reaching here.)

Those are just some ways I've made sense of the C/NC problem. Feel free to poke holes in my arguement. They aren't rules, just Mark-isms, what I tell my students. There are things like corn that are tricky and don't work in this model or you have to force them in somewhere.

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Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:14 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:16 am
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You can have corns on your feet, but that is something entirely different.

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Steve
Mister Young's English Class
Minas Gerais, Brasil


Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:10 am
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 3:35 pm
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Location: Yamaguchi, Japan
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You can also play chicken but that also is entirely different


Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:30 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:03 am
Posts: 71
Location: Athens, Greece
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An explanation one of my teachers gave us when I was learning English was
that things that have their own shape can be counted as compared to things
that have the shape of the recipient holding them like water, oil, etc and rice, flour, sugar that are NC. We can have a bottle of water, a glass of water,
a teaspoon of sugar, a cup of flour etc.
The distinction that Mark makes between eating the things and handling them
is very helpful. too, I think. I'll be using it when teaching. Thank you.


Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:19 am
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