a weather

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nurdug51

Senior Member
Germany,German
Can you say: They had a terrible weather. ?

My dictionary says the word weather is uncountable (They had terrible weather) but I'm not sure if I haven't heard the other one as well.

nurdug51
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Can you say: They had a terrible weather. ?

    My dictionary says the word weather is uncountable (They had terrible weather) but I'm not sure if I haven't heard the other one as well.

    nurdug51
    I've never heard "a" weather before, Nurdug. "Last month, they had a terrible rainstorm, a terrible snowfall and a terrible thunderstorm. For an entire month, they had terrible weather".
     

    evilregis

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    You may see/hear "a" used with weather + another word.

    ie, a weather system. a weather station. a weather vane.

    But each of those aren't "weather" in the sense that you are using in your sentence. Their nouns in their own right.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Maybe so, maybe so...

    But Hardy wrote a lovely poem called 'Weathers' back in 1910 or so. Special case, I suppose...
     

    MissFit

    Senior Member
    Maybe so, maybe so...

    But Hardy wrote a lovely poem called 'Weathers' back in 1910 or so. Special case, I suppose...
    Poets get to break all sorts of rules and even invent words. If you read Hardy's "Weathers," you'll notice he only uses it in the plural for the title. It has a whimsical effect as a title, but it would be really awkward to read weathers in a line of the poem. For those of us who aren't talented poets, weather remains an uncountable noun.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Poets get to break all sorts of rules and even invent words. If you read Hardy's "Weathers," you'll notice he only uses it in the plural for the title. It has a whimsical effect as a title, but it would be really awkward to read weathers in a line of the poem. For those of us who aren't talented poets, weather remains an uncountable noun.
    Yeah, you're right, Missfit. I was just showing off...
     
    ... weather remains an uncountable noun.
    No, not necessarily.

    It's more accurate to say "weather as a noun is uncountable".

    It seems obvious that you can have perfectly good normal standard sentences that use "a weather" and "weathers" but perhaps not in the way that you are thinking!

    He made a weather station from wood.
    She was wearing a weather-proof coat.
    This stone, unlike granite, weathers well in this climate.
    Fishermen go out in all weathers.
     
    "All weathers" seems to be a BE usage. In AE, it would be "all types of weather." :)

    Elisabetta
    On what basis do you say that it is a BE usage?

    The phrase "all weathers" can be found on many American websites.

    These three examples are from the New York Times:

    The first was that I always sweated so much that I stayed fairly ventilated in all weathers. Oversweating seems an ambivalent blessing, and it didn't ...
    www.nytimes.com/books/first/w/wallace-fun.html


    ... who in our household performed the tasks associated with motherhood while Kathleen Godwin went out in all weathers to breadwin for us like a man, ...
    www.nytimes.com/books/99/04/04/specials/godwin-writer.html - 27k -



    ... sets of pots and pans, toys, books, provisions, clothing for all weathers, shoes, remedies and accessories, "as if we were leaving for Atlantis." ...
    www.nytimes.com/books/first/a/anissimov-levi.html http://forum.wordreference.com/sear...nytimes.com/books/first/a/anissimov-levi.html
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    Robbo, as I scanned the first page of cites from Google, most appeared to have UK in the domain names. I'm not surprised that "all weathers" would turn up occasionally in AE, but it's not something I've heard or read often. Maybe that is changing.

    I've yet, however, to hear anyone on either side of the pond say "a weather," which is the usage that kicked off this thread. :)

    Elisabetta
     
    Yeah, I haven't heard all weathers until now, of course.

    Interesting that the New York Times uses it. I'll have to read the New York Times more closely each day, then. Just so I can see if they use "all weathers" relatively frequently or just every once in awhile ha ha.
    I googled it and the first AE source I saw was Harvard Magazine

    There's yet another usage of "weathers" in AE:
    New York Times....the usage is "if the weathers clear"
     

    jabogitlu

    Senior Member
    USA-English
    He made a weather station from wood.
    She was wearing a weather-proof coat.
    This stone, unlike granite, weathers well in this climate.
    Fishermen go out in all weathers.
    1: adjective-y usage
    2: again
    3: verb
    4: As discussed, mainly BE. I've never heard this in all my years in America.
     
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