all one's <energy / energies>

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liulol

Senior Member
Nanmahua
Hello everyone !

I see "all one's energy" or "all one's energies" from time to time. But I don't know the difference. When is "energy" countable, and when uncountable ? Is there a difference between the two cases ? <deletion>

Thank you very much !:)
 
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  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    If you look at the definition from our dictionary:

    energy/ˈenəʤi/
    ▶noun (pl. energies)
    • 1 the strength and vitality required for sustained activity.
    ■ (energies) a person's physical and mental powers as applied to a particular activity.
    • 2 power derived from physical or chemical resources to provide light and heat or to work machines.
    • 3 Physics the property of matter and radiation which is manifest as a capacity to perform work.
    you will see that energy is generally singular. Energies can only be used in a specific sense - often in the form you mentioned: put all somebody's energies into doing something.
     
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    liulol

    Senior Member
    Nanmahua
    Thank you natkretep!
    You have said :"a specific sense", could you please specify this sense in order that I could understand better in other cases ? Many thanks ! :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The specific sense as given in the dictionary entry, liulol: a person's physical and mental powers. You can't use it for senses 2 or 3 for example.

    The wind provides many energies. :cross:
    Energies, like mass, cannot be created or destroyed. :cross:
    She devoted all her energies to completing the task. :tick:
    She devoted all her energy to completing the task. :tick:
     

    liulol

    Senior Member
    Nanmahua
    OK, I see. Thank you !
    Last question : in your examples, do the two sentences mean exactly the same ?:)
    She devoted all her energies to completing the task. :tick:
    She devoted all her energy to completing the task. :tick:
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I think for energy in the singular, I think of physical energy more; for energies, I think of of physical energy as well as mental (psychological, spiritual) concentration.
     
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