get A full score; get full markS

  • Aud Duck

    Senior Member
    English--United States
    I'm not sure that there is a grammatical explanation for it. The difference is regional. You would use the first in the United States and the second in the UK. Can any BE speakers explain why "full marks" is plural?
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I'm not sure that there is a grammatical explanation for it. The difference is regional. You would use the first in the United States and the second in the UK. Can any BE speakers explain why "full marks" is plural?

    I wasn't aware that this was a BE term - do you not get marks on tests, etc. in the U.S.? In Canada, I might write an English exam where my score is 89% and my mark for the semester is a "B" in the English course (as a result of my participation in class and having taken many tests and quizzes). Or my score on every exam might be 15% and I get a mark of "F" (fail) in the course for that semester. My marks for each semester will determine my final grade for the year.

    As to the original question, a score is singular because it's one score (the result of one exam) and marks are plural because one "gets good marks in the course".
     

    Aud Duck

    Senior Member
    English--United States
    I had assumed that it was British, because I have only come across it in British books. I don't know why that led me to the conclusion that it was only British.

    As to your question, we get grades, rather than marks. The usage of the word seems to be a little different, too. You wouldn't get full grades for anything. You would get a perfect score or a full score. Then, your grades in the class determine what grade you get for the semester.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    As to your question, we get grades, rather than marks. The usage of the word seems to be a little different, too. You wouldn't get full grades for anything. You would get a perfect score or a full score. Then, your grades in the class determine what grade you get for the semester.

    Things we take so for granted certainly can be confusing when analyzed, can't they?:) You'll note that I previously said:

    "My marks for each semester will determine my final grade for the year."

    So, we get "grades" as well... and, given that it's been many years since I was actually in school, I should stop while I'm ahead!:D
     

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    I agree that "marks" is used in British English, but if you are saying that it is full marks, that is to say that the person got the highest marks, then I think normally one would say:

    "I got/received perfect marks."
     

    Victoria32

    Senior Member
    English (UK) New Zealand
    I wasn't aware that this was a BE term - do you not get marks on tests, etc. in the U.S.? In Canada, I might write an English exam where my score is 89% and my mark for the semester is a "B" in the English course (as a result of my participation in class and having taken many tests and quizzes). Or my score on every exam might be 15% and I get a mark of "F" (fail) in the course for that semester. My marks for each semester will determine my final grade for the year.

    As to the original question, a score is singular because it's one score (the result of one exam) and marks are plural because one "gets good marks in the course".
    One can (or could when I was at school) get good marks on just one exam!

    VL
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    I would never say I got perfect marks, such a thing being impossible to my way of thinking. 'I got very good/high marks' would I think be the more usual expression.
     

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    I would never say I got perfect marks, such a thing being impossible to my way of thinking. 'I got very good/high marks' would I think be the more usual expression.

    Yes, I understand your thinking, but the example was "full marks". I understand that as the highest grade possible, so that is why I said "perfect marks", but your examples may fit for cheshire :D
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In Canada, I might write an English exam where my score is 89%...
    Another difference: In American English, we don't write exames; we take them.

    If you write an exam you're making one up.

    Regarding the original question, I think the point is that "full marks" can refer to one grade in British English. Obviously the plural would be used - in both varieties of the language - to refer to multiple scores.

    In American English, you'd never say "I got full grades on that test."

    You would say "a full score." "Grades" is used only for multiple scores.
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Or my score on every exam might be 15% and I get a mark of "F" (fail) in the course for that semester. My marks for each semester will determine my final grade for the year.
    Is it only Canadian English that you can get "a mark of..." in one test?

    get a high mark in a test
    get high marks in a test
     

    Aud Duck

    Senior Member
    English--United States
    Is it only Canadian English that you can get "a mark of..." in one test?

    get a high mark in a test
    get high marks in a test

    You can certainly get a C or an A on a test in the US. You will sometimes see "a grade of" in official documents like course catalogues. For example, a prerequisite for Spanish 2 might be Spanish 1 "with a grade of C or higher." However, you wouldn't be likely to hear it in conversation, and, as I said earlier, we don't really use the word "mark."
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I have heard the expression "full marks" from the host on the old BBC Radio shows "My Word" and "My Music". "Full marks for Ian on that last round!" If it doesn't currently exist in British English, it did in the recent past. :)
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I have heard the expression "full marks" from the host on the old BBC Radio shows "My Word" and "My Music". "Full marks for Ian on that last round!" If it doesn't currently exist in British English, it did in the recent past. :)
    I've heard that phrase too, and the context, as I understood it, was "perfect score on that last round", switching to AE.

    I'm not sure about this though. :)

    Gaer
     
    Top