a piece of advice & a suggestion

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Senior Member
Hello everyone,

In Chinese, there are no articles, so we often feel it difficult to understand why we don't say "an advice" or "an information".
You give me a piece of advice, but you give me a suggestion.

I was taught that each piece of advice is different, so people regard advice is uncountable. On the other hand, all eggs are of the same character, so they're countable. Though I feel the explanation is somewhat strange, it is acceptable. However, when the "theory" is applied to advice and suggestion, it cannot hold water at all.

I have never seen a plausible explanation about the "an advice" and "a suggestion" thing.

Thank you.
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Well, one simply has to accept that there are countable and uncountable nouns. There is no advantage in questioning the reasons behind the existence of these two types of nouns. Nor will you be able to change the way those words' referents are perceived.

    I hear South Africans say 'salary advices' to mean 'salary slips' and in this instance 'advice' is very countable. It just has a different meaning. :)
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