a bit of (an) accent

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  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It's certainly not an error for that particular character in that book, Kharbin ~ she uses it three times in rapid succession:
    Abigail: You have a bit of accent. [...] I like a bit of accent. [...] I have a bit of accent myself.
    I (personally) don't consider it an error at all ~ merely a bit unusual. Accent can, like so many nouns classified as Countable, have moments of uncountability:
    Speaking my language: how accent impacts our opinion of others
    "something totally English with a bit of accent spurts right out without any control or warning" (quoted from here)

    (Hullo, Mr O :) )


    Senior Member
    The absence of 'an' is so jarring that... well, I agree with Mr. Owl. I would most certainly have corrected the person saying it, for instance my sons or a student of mine, if I was a teacher (and when I was one). I would not have the audacity :D to correct someone from the UK or Australia, but, hey, I would certainly register it. :)

    Yes, she uses the word consistently - as countable when talking about someone's accent and uncountable as an idea not applied to a particular person or country:

    It is a widely known and increasingly well-explored fact that accent has an impact on how an individual is perceived by others, and therefore on the way in which others treat them.
    If we look at what a foreign accent is, we see that it definitely meets the criteria for...

    Much like I would use the word vocabulary. The problem is that unlike accent this word is classified both as countable and uncountable:

    vocabulary - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    (Hullo, Mr O :) )

    Why do you call me Mr O? Should I take umbrage at that?


    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Using ‘accent’ instead of ‘an accent’ is a lot more common here when used after no trace of....... .

    There’s no trace of accent when she sings.
    He spoke perfect English with no trace of accent.
    She speaks Italian with almost no trace of accent.
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