a concept [countable?]

Jignesh77

Senior Member
India- hindi
Some nouns are “uncountable”. These are things that are a concept, or not easy to divide.
A simple guide to uncountable nouns

I know that the indefinite article "a" is a signal that the following noun must be countable but I really can't figure out the noun "concept" is countable in the context. I think I struggle when the noun is not physical.
I know I can check a dictionary but I want to learn the idea and then apply it correctly.
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm not sure I understand your question.

    Are you suggesting that 'concept' could/should be uncountable here, and the sentence could/should be 'These are things that are concept, or not easy to divide.'?

    Cross-posted. I think owlman5's suggestion is a good one.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To distinguish a countable noun from an uncountable one (or rather, a countable or uncountable use of a noun, since most can be used either way), it’s a good idea to base your judgement on whether it can be used in the plural, rather than whether it can be used with an indefinite article. The most obvious examples of intrinsically singular/uncountable nouns are ones that are indeed concepts or ideas, such as: entirety, rectitude, volition, despondency.
     

    Jignesh77

    Senior Member
    India- hindi
    I am really sorry but I am having trouble understanding the uncountable meaning of certain nouns.
    I know that you can't put numbers in front of those nouns. I know the basic rules about them.
     

    The pianist

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Some nouns are “uncountable”. These are things that are a concept, or not easy to divide.
    A simple guide to uncountable nouns

    I know that the indefinite article "a" is a signal that the following noun must be countable but I really can't figure out the noun "concept" is countable in the context. I think I struggle when the noun is not physical.
    I know I can check a dictionary but I want to learn the idea and then apply it correctly.
    When the Department of Defense (DOD) wants a new system it will initiate a phase called the "Concept Definition Phase", or 'CDP', and ask companies to submit their CONCEPTS. Companies A, B, C, and D will each submit its concept. These are not physical like 'apples and oranges'. They are ideas and obviously concepts in the minds of the teams that developed them. In this sense 'concept' is countable.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I am really sorry but I am having trouble understanding the uncountable meaning of certain nouns.
    You don't have to apologise, but your answer still doesn't explain your original question.

    You're saying that the use of the indefinite article indicates a countable noun. You have the indefinite article and a noun. So why not just apply that principle, and take "concept" as countable? What's it that makes you think that principle may not apply here, and that "concept" might be uncountable?
     
    Last edited:

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    These are things that are a concept,

    The sentence tells you they are "things". So from that you already know it's a countable situation, if a noun is involved. "Concept" is a noun, so if these things are one example of such a noun, the noun (concept) has to have different types and has to be countable.

    If it's an adjective, it's different.

    These are things that are conceptual.

    In that case, countability does not apply.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I am really sorry but I am having trouble understanding the uncountable meaning of certain nouns.
    I know that you can't put numbers in front of those nouns. I know the basic rules about them.
    Hello again, Jignesh. I think that you may be making too big a deal of your conceptual difficulties as you attempt to understand and use abstract nouns. The only difference that should affect you regarding any of these nouns is the difference between uncountable nouns and ordinary countable nouns.

    Once you have decided whether a noun is countable or not, it should still be easy to work with that noun and use it in conversations even if you haven't quite understood its full meaning to your satisfaction. Because you know the basic rules about uncountable nouns, I assume that you also know how countable nouns are ordinarily used.

    Our old friend concept is an ordinary countable noun. You can use numbers in front of it and do anything else with the noun that you do with all the other ordinary countable nouns.

    You may choose to think of a concept as one idea, or perhaps a bundle* of related ideas. No matter how you view it, the procedure will be the same for talking about more than one concept as it is for talking about any other plural form of a noun. You add "s" to the end of the noun and use a suitable plural conjugation for whatever verb that you are using with "concepts" as its subject.

    Try not to worry too much about abstract concerns and problems. If you focus on the mechanics of making plurals out of the abstract words that are normally pluralized, you won't have too many problems in using them in your speech and writing.

    *The second viewpoint seems a little more accurate to me, but that is just an opinion. The important thing to know is that it makes just as much sense to refer to six concepts as it does to refer to six bundles of twigs. Both "concept" and "bundle" are completely normal when they are pluralized.
     
    Last edited:

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You are very welcome. You have come a long way with your English, and you have a good reason to have some confidence in your own ability to overcome minor obstacles like this. It may be helpful to realize that most people's ideas about abstract things are rather vague. If yours are also vague, that is normal.
     

    Jignesh77

    Senior Member
    India- hindi
    I am really grateful for the help and encouragement I get here and from other online forums where people give their time and of course expert advice regarding the finer points of this global language.
     
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