His book collection was extensive, some say...

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dn88

Senior Member
Polish
Sorry to bother you again, here goes my question:

His book collection was extensive, some say... (NUMBER)

I have to form a word that fits in the space using the word given in brackets (it can be altered). I would go for "innumerable", is it acceptable?

Thanks.
 
  • fernandotorres

    Senior Member
    India -Marathi and English
    Sorry to bother you again, here goes my question:

    His book collection was extensive, some say... (NUMBER)

    I have to form a word that fits in the space using the word given in brackets (it can be altered). I would go for "innumerable", is it acceptable?

    Thanks.
    Are you sure about the sentence?A book collection can be extensive but it can`t be "innumerable",the book collection may consist of innumerable books.
     

    fernandotorres

    Senior Member
    India -Marathi and English
    Yes, I am sure about it.
    Still,I have my misgivings about this sentence. "There are innumerable books in his book collection":tick:
    But,his book collection is innumerable?:cross:[As far as I am concerned]
    I think it is wrong,extensive is the most appropriate adjective in this particular case.
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Still,I have my misgivings about this sentence. "There are innumerable books in his book collection":tick:
    But,his book collection is innumerable?:cross:[As far as I am concerned]
    I think it is wrong,extensive is the most appropriate adjective in this particular case.
    Why are you insistent on using "innumerable" ONLY before a noun?
     

    fernandotorres

    Senior Member
    India -Marathi and English
    Why are you insistent on using "innumerable" ONLY before a noun?
    What I am saying is that "innumerable" always precedes plural nouns.For eg"There are innumerable stars in the sky" "The museum contains innumerable invaluable artefacts" .One thing that I am absolutely sure about is that a book collection can never be innumerable,this sentence is what I disapprove of.I just thought of an exception,innumerable can also be used in this way,"The people gathered to watch the spectacle bordered on the innumerable"
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    What I am saying is that "innumerable" always precedes plural nouns.For eg"There are innumerable stars in the sky" "The museum contains innumerable invaluable artefacts" .One thing that I am absolutely sure about is that a book collection can never be innumerable,this sentence is what I disapprove of.
    Then what word would you use in lieu of "innumerable"?
     

    AWordLover

    Senior Member
    USA English
    In the context of your sentence.
    ..., some say X. X does not need to be literally true. It could be that people engage in a bit of hyperbole and say innumerable. Fernandtorres is correct that a real collection of books cannot be innumerable, in the literal sense of uncountably many.

    The integers are innumerable, there are an infinite number of them.
    The stars are innumerable, although there might not be infinitely many, they cannot all be seen and therefore they cannot all be counted.
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    In the context of your sentence.
    ..., some say X. X does not need to be literally true. It could be that people engage in a bit of hyperbole and say innumerable. Fernandtorres is correct that a real collection of books cannot be innumerable, in the literal sense of uncountably many.

    The integers are innumerable, there are an infinite number of them.
    The stars are innumerable, although there might not be infinitely many, they cannot all be seen and therefore they cannot all be counted.
    Absolutely! The person saying this is definitely exaggerating. Thanks for the clarification, AWordLover.
     

    fernandotorres

    Senior Member
    India -Marathi and English
    In the context of your sentence.
    ..., some say X. X does not need to be literally true. It could be that people engage in a bit of hyperbole and say innumerable. Fernandtorres is correct that a real collection of books cannot be innumerable, in the literal sense of uncountably many.

    The integers are innumerable, there are an infinite number of them.
    The stars are innumerable, although there might not be infinitely many, they cannot all be seen and therefore they cannot all be counted.
    Yes,maybe you are right,it may be acceptable in spoken English wherein people may exaggerate,but I am just curious as to what sort of exercise this is.
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Yes,maybe you are right,it may be acceptable in spoken English wherein people may exaggerate,but I am just curious as to what sort of exercise this is.
    It's taken from an English contest that was held in Poland. I don't know who invented this example.
     
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