a/- harm (uncountable)

Vina2010

Senior Member
Spanish-Argentina
Hi, nice people in this forum!

Can anybody help me with this phrase?

"I got to know that long time ago, you did such a great harm to her that led that fool to become a nun.
I want you to do a far worse harm than the one you did to her".

I am doubtful about " a harm". Shouldn't it be such great harm because harm is uncountable?

The phrase was taken from a novela.

Many thanks in advance.

Have a great evening!

Hugs!

Vina ;)
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello Vina2010. :)

    What is the title of the novella and the name of the author? We always ask for that, you know. ;)

    Also, please tell us what is going on here. Who is speaking? What harm was done? And so on.
     

    Vina2010

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Argentina
    Hello Vina2010. :)

    What is the title of the novella and the name of the author? We always ask for that, you know. ;)

    Also, please tell us what is going on here. Who is speaking? What harm was done? And so on.
    Hi, Cagey!

    Many thanks for your answer. The novela is called Rosa de Lejos. The author is Celia Alcántara. ;)

    A woman and a man who want to form an alliance are speaking. They want to make Rosa's life miserable. Some time ago, this man raped Rosa, and as she felt so ashamed, she decided to get into a convent and become a nun, although she was in love with a boy. Then, Rosa was dismissed because the nuns realized she was in love with a boy. Now this girl is back in town, and this woman, the one who is speaking, is dumped by Rosa's ex-boyfriend and she wants to destroy her. This is why she says that she knows he did such a great harm... etc.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Hugs!!!

    Vina
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Thank you for the excellent context. It is very helpful.

    This is my attempt at an explanation.

    "Harm" can be either countable of uncountable. When we are thinking of a specific harm, it is countable. When we are talking about harm in general, or an unspecified harm, we treat it as uncountable. In some contexts, the distinction will not be clear, and we could use either one.

    In your text, in the first instance, "such a great harm" refers to the rape, a very specific type of harm. In the second instance ("I want you to do a far worse harm") the woman apparently has something specific in mind. I don't have the book on hand, but I suspect that after this, the woman explains exactly what this harm will be.

    An example of 'harm' treated as uncountable: "I don't want harm to come to you." In this case, the harm is unspecified; the speaker wants the 'you' to be safe from all harm, whatever form it may take.
     
    Last edited:

    Vina2010

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Argentina
    Thank you for the excellent context. It is very helpful.

    This is my attempt at an explanation.

    "Harm" can be either countable of uncountable. When we are thinking of a specific harm, it is countable. When we are talking about harm in general, or an unspecified harm, we treat it as uncountable. In some contexts, the distinction will not be clear, and we could use either one.

    In your text, in the first instance, "such a great harm"refers to the rape, a very specific type of harm. In the second instance ("I want you to do a far worse harm") the woman apparently has something specific in mind. I don't have the book on hand, but I suspect that after this, the woman explains exactly what this harm will be.

    An example of 'harm' treated as uncountable: "I don't want any harm to come to you." In this case, the harm is unspecified; the speaker wants the 'you' to be safe from all harm, whatever form it may take.
     

    Vina2010

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Argentina
    Many thanks to you, Cagey! You have been of great help! :) I really appreciate your help.
    Thanks a million once again!
    Good night! :)
    Hugs!
     
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