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Nouns (english) are uncountable, and also countable, why?

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by felipegonzalez, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. felipegonzalez Junior Member

    Colombian-Spanish
    Generally: beer, bread, cake, coffee, meat, money, nature, pasta, rice, salad and yogurt. Are uncountable, but which nouns can sometimes be countable. For instance, Chocolate is uncountable and countable, i.e, I sometimes can say: "a chocolate"
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  2. donbill

    donbill Senior Member / Moderator

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    Many non-count nouns can be changed to count nouns if they represent a type, a quantity, a unit, etc. of the nouns in question.

    I'd like a beer, please. = a glass of beer / a bottle of beer
    Would you like a yogurt for a snack? = a cup or bowl of yogurt
    I eat a salad with every meal. =a serving; 'salad' is often a count noun
    Could you bring me a coffee, please? = a cup (I rarely say 'a coffee', but it is heard a lot)
    This cake is better than the other two [cakes]. = this kind of cake is better than the other two kinds.
     
  3. Brianse Senior Member

    Argentina - Spanish
    Por que pueden ser barras de chocolate o chocolate (derretido por ejemplo). Almenos eso creo.
     
  4. flyingcabbage Senior Member

    Dublin, Ireland
    English - Ireland
    Chocolate es lo más fácil: "A chocolate" es una trufa/praliné (algo que viene en una caja). Pero "I like chocolate" (no numerable) es el chocolate en general.

    Como ha explicado donbill, con varios tipos de comida, la versión contable refiere a un tipo specífico o una cantidad.

    Tus ejemplos:
    A beer - como en español, se refiere a una botella o un vaso.
    Cake - "She brought two cakes" (Trayó dos tartas) pero "I like cake" (Me gusta las tartas en general)
    Coffee - "A coffee" = "Una copa de cafe"
    Meat - Supongo que "meats" se refiere a diferentes tipos de carne (pero no lo dice en todos contextos, sólo en carnicerías, creo)
    Nature - contable = carácter o naturaleza, no contable = la Naturaleza (el universo)
    Pasta - sólo sería contable si hablas de platos de pasta en un restaurante ("We'll have two pastas, please")
    Rice - lo mismo que pasta (y aun suena raro)
    Salad - como ha dicho donbill
    Yogurt - como ha dicho donbill

    Y que yo sepa, bread and money no son contables.

    Espero que esto te ayude :)
     
  5. felipegonzalez Junior Member

    Colombian-Spanish
    Thank you guys. I already get it.
     

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