a bad skin, a bad face

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  • bellerophon

    Member
    English - Canada
    He has bad skin.
    He has a bad face.

    The reason why the first sentence does not use the article "a" is because skin is not a countable object; that is, we do not count pieces of skin, but instead refer to the entire skin.

    On the other hand, we can count faces: one face, two faces, three...and so one would use an article when refering to a face.
     

    Ms Missy

    Senior Member
    USA English
    He has bad skin.
    He has a bad face.

    The reason why the first sentence does not use the article "a" is because skin is not a countable object; that is, we do not count pieces of skin, but instead refer to the entire skin.

    On the other hand, we can count faces: one face, two faces, three...and so one would use an article when refering to a face.
    That's a very good explanation. I knew that "a bad skin" was incorrect, but would not have been able to explain why it's incorrect! So I probably would've suggested saying "a bad skin tone" (meaning complexion), but I don't think that's what the person who asked the question had in mind.
     
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