Expenditure(s)

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  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    It's not very usual in the plural, but if it does exist it presumably means several different budgets:
    • "Government expenditure on health" = that one budget that is devoted to health.
    • "Government expenditures..." = all heads of sepending: health, transport, education etc. etc.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Cambridge comes up with some really weird examples at times. "Expenditure" is usually uncountable. Although it can be countable when discussing particular payments or outgoings, I really cannot imagine "government expenditure" ever being countable, not in a situation where it is necessary to add the word "government" at any rate.

    I think Cambridge dictionary made up the first quote. I have no idea why.
     

    PanPan01

    Senior Member
    French
    Thank you both ever so much!
    Would you be so kind as to provide me with any context and example where "expenditure" is generally countable and plural in BrE, please? I can't think of anything.
     
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    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Would you be so kind as to provide me with any context and example where "expenditure" is generally countable and plural in BE, please?
    Countable and plural, eh?
    I've been going through the accounts and there are one or two expenditures I can find no record of having been approved.​
    This isn't the only way of saying it, and I expect some people avoid the countable form altogether, saying "items of expenditure" instead.
     

    Sahira.D

    New Member
    Spanish
    Why not add the definite article 'the' at the beginning of the sentence like 'The government expenditure'. I'm asking that because I know we could say 'The expenditure of something on something'
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Why not add the definite article 'the' at the beginning of the sentence like 'The government expenditure'. I'm asking that because I know we could say 'The expenditure of something on something'
    You can do, if there is a reason to do so, but uncountable nouns don't require an article.
     

    Sahira.D

    New Member
    Spanish
    So, when it is needed to add the definite article 'the' before the world 'expenditure' ? E.g: The expenditure of effort on this project has been enormous. // Expenditure on water and sanitation is one of the high priorities.
    Is it compulsory or optional?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Grammatically, it is optional. The use of articles in English is complex and there are many threads on the subject. The discussion does not belong in this thread which is about expenditure(s), not articles.

    If you have a specific question about whether or not to use "the", then look to see whether there is an existing thread that answers your question and, if not, start a new thread. However, you will need a specific question, with a full sentence and context.
     
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