acquire A basic knowledge of language


Senior Member
Spanish - Spain

Talking about learning languages and knowledge could we say : "to acquire a basic knowledge of language ..." or should we say "To acquire basic knowledge of language.." (without de determiner "a") ?

My reasoning is that "knowledge" is an uncountable noun. Therefore, It should be incorect to say "a" before "basic knowlege" because when you say "a", you are counting and you cannot count "knowledges".

Thanks for your support!
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    "My reasoning is that "knowledge" is an uncountable noun." So it is. Nevertheless, you are more likely to hear the above expression with the indefinite article, although either alternative is grammatically acceptable. Don't assume that the countable/uncountable rule is as inflexible as the laws of physics.
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