a heavy rain

jakartaman

Senior Member
Korean
I thought "rain" was uncountable but look at this sentence.
There was a heavy rain in California last night.
It makes sense, doesn't it? Can I say "heavy rain" without the "a"? Does it make any difference?

How about this then?
I was walking through heavy rain/ a heavy rain one day and saw him standing at a bus stop soaked wet.
I think heavy rain sounds better than a heavy rain. But what do I know? After all, I'm not a native speaker.

I would really appreciate if you could help me.
 
  • mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    I thought "rain" was uncountable but look at this sentence.
    There was a heavy rain in California last night.
    It makes sense, doesn't it? Can I say "heavy rain" without the "a"? Does it make any difference?

    How about this then?
    I was walking through heavy rain/ a heavy rain one day and saw him standing at a bus stop soaked wet.
    I think heavy rain sounds better than a heavy rain. But what do I know? After all, I'm not a native speaker.

    I would really appreciate if you could help me.
    There was a heavy rain in California last night.
    I infer that somewhere in California there was a heavy rain.
    There was heavy rain in California last night.
    I infer that everywhere in California there was heavy rain.

    I was walking through heavy rain one day and saw him standing at a bus stop soaked wet.
    It was heavy rain I was walking through--I have no idea what it was like on the other side of town--neither does my sentence infer anything either way.
    I was walking through a heavy rain one day and saw him standing at a bus stop soaked wet.
    It was heavy rain I was walking through--I have no idea what it was like on the other side of town--neither does my sentence infer anything either way.

    Bottom line: It makes no difference in the last pair of sentences, and only a slight inferential difference in the first pair.
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    No--again only in inference.
    There was such beautiful weather in California last night.
    There was beautiful weather in California last night.

    The first one sounds like the kid calling home to tell his mother in North Dakota that school life at UCLA isn't so bad.
    In the second sentence without the qualifier, such, it sounds like an all-state weather report.

    Again the only answers I have are through personal experience and personal inference--either because it's too late at night, or because I took a sleeping pill and am awaiting its effects. I don't see why they qualifier/quantifier should make such slight, inferential differences.

    Maybe someone with a little more cognition at this late hour can chime in with something more logical than inference.

    Good luck!
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Perhaps, Audio, it would help to think of rain as an entirely countable noun in certain circumstances. So a rain = one instance of rain falling, or perhaps a given quantity of rain: Last night a rain so heavy that it washed away buildings fell in California.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    There was such beautiful weather in California last night.
    There was beautiful weather in California last night.
    Oh go on then, Audio, let's have a go at tackling the bloody weather, as it looks like MJ's sleeping-tab has taken effect.
    I suppose that in a way beautiful weather could be classed as 'shorthand' for the entirely countable a spell/period of good weather. This would explain why it's quantified in MJ's first example. You should have seen the (period of) beautiful weather we had in California last night! ~ such a change from the usual (periods of) appalling weather we experience here at this time of year.
    Whereas in his second it refers to a general state of good weatheriness [!!!] Beautiful weather was experienced by all Californians simultaneously last night ~ nothing new there then.

    I hope this helps:confused:
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It seems to me my question was not incisive enough. What I meant by posting this thread was to find out if the following phrase is grammatically acceptable:

    a beautiful weather (as some did with a heavy rain)?

    Thanks!

    p.s. The weather in my city is really awful (It's such awful weather:))
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hi,

    I thought so...well...I can do nothing but come round to your way of thinking and accept it as it is...without going into details.

    (But I still don't have the foggiest :) idea why a heavy rain but beautiful weather)

    Thanks a lot!

    p.s. It's been pouring down all day long...
     

    lalanguedemoliere

    Member
    France French
    Hi !

    Maybe you can have a certain amount of rain, but not a certain amount of weather. You talk about the 'quality' of the weather where you live....
    I may well be wrong.....
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    There are heavy rains in Argentina... It's correct ?
    Thanks.
    Welcome to the forum, Horno de barro!

    It's grammatically correct, but we need some context to tell you whether -- for example -- you've used the correct verb tense. What are you trying to say, and in what situation would you say it?
     

    Horno de barro

    New Member
    Español
    Welcome to the forum, Horno de barro!

    It's grammatically correct, but we need some context to tell you whether -- for example -- you've used the correct verb tense. What are you trying to say, and in what situation would you say it?
    Thanks florentia52...
    I study english...my english is poor.

    <-----Spanish sentences removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->

    There is a heavy rain... or
    There are heavy rains in...

    Thanks, a lot...
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Either one could be correct. Again, we need to know what you are trying to say. Are you observing that heavy rain frequently falls in Argentina, or are you commenting on the weather in the past 24 hours, or are you giving the forecast for tomorrow?
     

    Horno de barro

    New Member
    Español
    Either one could be correct. Again, we need to know what you are trying to say. Are you observing that heavy rain frequently falls in Argentina, or are you commenting on the weather in the past 24 hours, or are you giving the forecast for tomorrow?
    "Are you commenting on the weather in the past 24 hours"
    I am refering to that option.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    In that case, we would probably use one of these:

    There has been heavy rain in Argentina for the past 24 hours.
    There have been heavy rains in Argentina for the past 24 hours.
    It rained heavily in Argentina today.
    Argentina was hit by heavy rains today.
     

    Horno de barro

    New Member
    Español
    In that case, we would probably use one of these:

    There has been heavy rain in Argentina for the past 24 hours.
    There have been heavy rains in Argentina for the past 24 hours.
    It rained heavily in Argentina today.
    Argentina was hit by heavy rains today.
    Thanks florentia52...
     
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