a (?) stubble

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G54250

Senior Member
français - France
Hello everyone !!

I wanted to know if you could use the determiner "a" with the noun "stubble" as in "He has a blond stubble" ?

Thanks a lot !
 
  • lapdwicks

    Senior Member
    Sinhala
    Of course you can. (But when you think it a specific characteristic.)

    Otherwise, you can say "he has blond stubble" because stubble can be used as uncountable as "hair".
     

    lapdwicks

    Senior Member
    Sinhala
    In my language, it is used as a countable noun as well as an uncountable noun. It may be the thing that makes us tend to think it as countable.

    By the way, I agree with you, and will follow it
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You say that as if English were logical. ;) Unless you were Homer Simpson, you wouldn't say you have "a hair," right?
    I'm surprised, Miss Julie, that you dislike "a stubble" so much. Like Packard, I use "a stubble". As Packard suggested, that use probably comes from its relationship to "a beard".
     

    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    I'm surprised, Miss Julie, that you dislike "a stubble" so much. Like Packard, I use "a stubble". As Packard suggested, that use probably comes from its relationship to "a beard".
    I didn't say I disliked it, I just don't use it...unless there's a qualifier (two-day, etc). Like I said, it may be a regional thing.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It might also be a gender thing. I hear other men use "a stubble" frequently. I've heard them use the phrase in different parts of the country. Perhaps women are used to thinking of "stubble" on unshaven legs, etc. If I were using "stubble" to describe something that grew on legs, on a scalp, or under arms, I'd probably use "stubble" with no article.
     

    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    It might also be a gender thing. I hear other men use "a stubble" frequently. I've heard them use the phrase in different parts of the country. Perhaps women are used to thinking of "stubble" on unshaven legs, etc. If I were using "stubble" to describe something that grew on legs, on a scalp, or under arms, I'd probably use "stubble" with no article.
    I think you're on to something there, owlman! Maybe it's a gender thing then. :D
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    We've got three different men here from three different regions (edit: in the U.S.), so it might be more of a man thing rather than a regional thing. I don't use a stubble, but I can imagine sentences in which it might work better than stubble, e.g., "I normally go for clean-cut guys, but I have to say that a stubble really suits Karl Urban." (And it does, too! :))

    Saying that "that stubble really suits Karl" doesn't sound right, somehow. I could write around it, of course, but a stubble doesn't sound bad here, for some reason.

    (Cross-posted with Julie and Owlman)
     
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    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    We've got three different men here from three different regions (edit: in the U.S.), so it might be more of a man thing rather than a regional thing. I don't use a stubble, but I can imagine sentences in which it might work better than stubble, e.g., "I normally go for clean-cut guys, but I have to say that a stubble really suits Karl Urban." (And it does, too! :))

    Saying that "that stubble really suits Karl" doesn't sound right, somehow. I could write around it, of course, but a stubble doesn't sound bad here, for some reason.

    (Cross-posted with Julie and Owlman)
    It definitely sounds bad to me.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Dear Miss Julie,

    Don't you say there's a hair in my soup?

    The context is the matter we have to consider.
    Moderator note.

    I'll leave it because it makes a point. But please remember that the topic of this thread is a stubble and not a hair.
     

    Stoggler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Can't help thinking there may be some British English v US English element here - I've never heard anyone say "a stubble" in Britain before (at least not that I've noticed) and it just sounds a little odd (typical English understatement) to my British ears.

    From the previous comments, it would appear to be relatively common in America.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I'm happy with

    "He had a blond stubble." (All uncountable nouns can be rendered countable by qualification.)
    "He was usually well-kempt but he now had a stubble."
    "Your face is covered in stubble." (Uncountable.)

    Possibly
    "He has a stubble." but "His face has stubble."?
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I'm happy with

    "He had a blond stubble." (All uncountable nouns can be rendered countable by qualification.)
    "He was usually well-kempt but he now had a stubble."
    "Your face is covered in stubble." (Uncountable.)

    Possibly
    "He has a stubble." but "His face has stubble."?
    That sounds pretty natural to me, at least. The emphasis on the first is on this state of facial hair growth known as "a stubble." The second sounds more like a statement on the condition of his face.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    >> (All uncountable nouns can be rendered countable by qualification.)

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, Paul, but that seems like a rather rash overstatement, to me.

    You wouldn't apply the same reasoning to 'advice' or 'information', would you?

    I'm warming to something like Stoggler's position. Some Americans (and Paul)* say 'a stubble'.

    *Although, I'm not sure that I believe you. :)
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I can think of no circumstances under which I could say 'he has a stubble'
    Me neither, not even with qualifiers:
    He has a two-day stubble:eek:. He has two days' growth / He has a two-day(s) beard / He has two days' worth of stubble.
    "He had a blond stubble.":eek: He had blond stubble.
    "He was usually well-kempt but he now had a stubble.":eek: He was usually well-kempt but he now had stubble.
    I've never heard anyone say "a stubble" in Britain before (at least not that I've noticed) and it just sounds a little odd (typical English understatement) to my British ears.
    :thumbsup:
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    >> (All uncountable nouns can be rendered countable by qualification.)

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, Paul, but that seems like a rather rash overstatement, to me.
    I like to see it as a generalization. :)

    You wouldn't apply the same reasoning to 'advice' or 'information', would you?
    Both are quite strange: in one form they are strongly uncountable but they do have countable forms, albeit rare. I was thinking more of weaker uncoultable nouns -> honesty, coffee, knowledge, and stubble, etc. an homogenous form that nevertheless has divisions.

    I'm warming to something like Stoggler's position. Some Americans (and Paul)* say 'a stubble'.

    *Although, I'm not sure that I believe you*. :)
    "He had a strange stubble that extended to his lower eyelids."

    *If you would chose your second, I will meet you at the cathedral at dawn. :)
     
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