how much deposit?

raymondaliasapollyon

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Dictionaries typically say the noun deposit is countable, but a Google search shows there are some instances of "how much deposit."

Do you think it's natural to say "How much deposit do you have to pay for a mortgage?"

I'd appreciate your help.
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    Not to me. "How much" refers to the amount of money i.e. "How much [in pounds, euros,etc.] do you have to pay as a deposit on that house?" or "How much [in pounds] is the deposit you have to pay for that house?"
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "How much deposit" sounds natural to me. If it is wrong, it is no more wrong than talking about paying a deposit for a mortgage. Both terms are readily understood.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Is "How much deposit do you have to pay for a mortgage?" incorrect as a sentence?
    Not to me; it sounds natural. But there is only one deposit ("how much" refers to the sum of money), and it is not "paid" for a mortgage (you might need a deposit; you might also need to pay a deposit "on" the property, but these aren't necessarily the same thing).
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s certainly quite common for people to say, for example, “How much deposit do I need to put down?” (rather than the easier-to-justify-grammatically “How much [money] do I have to put down as a deposit?”). It would be churlish to say this is wrong when it sounds so natural, even though it seems to use “deposit” uncountably.

    Some dictionaries (Collins, Longman) don’t appear to see “deposit” as an uncountable noun at all, while others (Oxford, Merriam-Webster) do, but only as a sort-of synonym for “depositing” — [mass noun] The action of placing something in a specified place.

    e.g. (my example): Deposit of the funds into the account is a prerequisite.
     
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