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breakfast countable or uncountable

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Freight Forwarder, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Freight Forwarder New Member

    Chinese
    I always have cereal, toast, and a cup of tea - never a cooked breakfast.

    Q:
    1. Is the sentence arove right with grammar?

    2. Is "breakfast" countable or uncountable?

    3. If it is uncountable, why the sentence has "a" before breakfast?

    Thanks for your time to read through my question.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Welcome to the forum. :)

    1. It's perfect.
    2. I'll leave it to those with a knowledge of grammar to decide on the countable/uncountable, but we use it in these two ways: I had breakfast. I had a fine breakfast.
    3. When you add an adjective, you add an article.
     
  3. Freight Forwarder New Member

    Chinese
    Thank you so much!
     
  4. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, breakfast can be countable or uncountable. If you want to highlight some aspect of breakfasting, you can use the plural.


    • I had breakfast this morning. (Normal uncountable use.)
    • I had a hearty breakfast this morning. (It becomes countable when you distinguish between different kinds of breakfast: a cooked breakfast, a full English breakfast, a Continental breakfast, a light breakfast, a dieter's breakfast, a curry breakfast)
    • I had two breakfasts this morning.
     
  5. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I agree with Copyright and Natkretep and would only add that (a) the same is true for other meals and (b) an article may also be used when the meal is an occasion or event. Example: I hosted a dinner for twelve last week. There were twelve guests at the dinner I hosted last week.
     
  6. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Agreed. As long as you specify the kind of breakfast/lunch/supper/etc. you should use an article:

    We had a long lunch.
    We ate a simple dinner.
    They had a candle-lit supper.
    They prepared a breakfast for vegetarians and another for non-vegetarians.
     

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