Deep respect

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Jana337, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Hello, :)

    Would you say

    I have deep respect for you


    I have a deep respect for you

    or both?


  2. mandarina_82

    mandarina_82 Banned

    "a deep respect" sounds better to me.
  3. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    To me too, but I can't think of why. I don't think the other is wrong though.
  4. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Hello to yourself;)
  5. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    It sounds better to me without the "a" because respect is an abstract quality.

    You cannot count respect. You cannot have two respects. You could say "a great degree of respect," "a high level of respect," etc., but "a respect" doesn't sounds good to me.
  6. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Moving a few degrees off topic, I agree with Elroy that respect cannot be counted. Still, such constructions are common in spoken AE. To have a
    great/deep/sincere affection for someone is common. Likewise, it is not at all unusual to hear of 'a deep loathing'.

    "A respect" certainly does sound awkward. Put an adjective between the "a" and the noun, and it sounds normal. I leave it to better minds to explain this.

    I have a consuming passion for learning. I cannot count learning, yet I would not say that I have passion for learning.

    Help! Grammarians. Tell me why these constructions fall gently on my ears.

  7. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In your "passion" example, it is passion that is getting an article - so it actually matters not whether you can count learning. Can you count passion? Arguably not, but in this case you are not just referring to the abstract notion of passion, but to a specific passion - namely, one for learning.

    The reason I prefer "I have deep respect" is that I see it as a general reference to the notion of respect - and not to "a specific respect."

    Nevertheless, the "affection" and "loathing" examples leave me in a quandary. I will think about this some more before posting again and hope that others contribute illuminating ideas in the meantime. :)

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