kjy04_20230115 b f

Learning how to use quantifiers to show collective nouns in plural sense


T : Thomas  B : Billy

T : So nice to see you here Billy. What are you up?


B : Morning Thomas. I am here in the library, doing some search fo rmy project.


T : You’re so hard working.


B : Thanks for the compliment. There are so many projects and essays we need to complete, just two weeks before the semester ends.


T : Why are you frowning?


B : I have been getting remarks from my teachers, saying I made basic mistakes in English. Take this essay for instance, I can’t figure out why the words crossed out in red by my teacher are wrong.


T : Can I have a look?


B : Here, for example, the word “informations” is crossed out; and here the word “hardwares” crossed out; and again, here, this word “aircrafts” crossed out.


T : I can see your problem now. Words such as “information”, “hardware”, “software”, “aircraft”, etc. are what are called collective nouns and they should not be pluralized. Instead, you should write “pieces of information”. For “hardware” you’d say “hardware systems”; and for “aircraft” you’d say “units of aircraft”. Such nouns in English usage need quantifiers to show a plural sense.


B : I see. That’s something I must bear in mind from now on. Thanks so much for the explanation.



T : 很高興在這裡見到你,Billy。你近來好嗎?


B : 早晨,Thomas。我正身處圖書館,為我的報告搜集資料。


T : 你真勤學。


B : 謝謝讚賞。在學期完結前兩週,我們需要完成很多報告和寫作。


T : 你為甚麼皺起眉頭﹖


B : 我一直收到老師的評語,說我的英語常常犯上基礎錯誤。以這篇文章為例, 那些被老師用紅筆刪掉的英文字,我也察覺不到為何不正確。


T : 我可以看一下嗎?


B : 就在這裡, 例如, 「i n f o r m a t i o n s 」一詞被劃掉; 這裡劃掉了 「hardwares」一詞;同樣地,「aircrafts」這個字又被劃掉了。


T : 我現在知道你的問題了。「information」,「hardware」, 「software」,「aircraft」等等在英文文法中被稱為「集體名詞」(collective nouns),不能有複數。反之,你應該寫為「pieces of information」。至於「hardware」,您可以用「hardware systems」(硬件系統);而「aircraft」可以說成「units of aircraft」(飛機單位)。這些名詞,在英文運用上,要加上「量詞」(quantifiers)才能量化


B : 原來如此。我今後必須牢記這些的知識。非常感謝您的講解。