explore an unknown scenery

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erroranalysis

Senior Member
German
One of my students wrote a story about an expedition. This is the beginning of the story:

Sally and Tim wanted to explore an unknown scenery. Their journey started in 1995. They had to walk a long way...

Would you use scenery in this context?

I'd say: ...wanted to explore an unknown area/region.
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    No, "scenery" is uncountable, so we don't say "a scenery" (in the same way that we don't say "an information," "a news," etc.).
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The point is that "scenery" is not the right word to use in the context of a fiction or story. It is indeed uncountable, but it is best to avoid this word entirely for beginning writers. We do say "enjoy the scenery" but that is fundamentally a metaphor based on stage design.

    Look for physical words like countryside or landscape. Indeed area or region work very well.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Scenery is strongly uncountable: "a/an" cannot be used with it.

    There are a few adjectives that, when used to qualify weakly uncountable nouns, transform them into semi-uncountable nouns. i.e. (i) The indefinite article a/an may be used but not in the sense of a number, e.g. He has a good knowledge of English. :tick:
    but (ii) a number cannot be used to create a plural, e.g. "He has two good knowledges: English and maths.":cross:
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Sally and Tim are shape-shifting and moving through galaxies. They land on planet Glreph. Sally says to Tim: "This is an unknown scenery."

    It works grammatically despite the fact that scenery is an uncountable noun. The point is that scenery is not the right word to use as presented in the OP.
    You don't explore scenery, by definition, any more than you can step into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock and explore one of his scenes.

    Yes, in the vast majority of case "scenery" goes without an article.
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It works grammatically despite the fact that scenery is an uncountable noun.
    Not to press the point, but I can't see that it does - you give the reason in
    The point is that scenery is not the right word to use as presented in the OP.
    and that is because scenery is uncountable.

    Sally and Tim wanted to explore an unknown scenery. :tick:
     
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