implanting lifelong understanding / a lifelong understanding

  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    clapec said:
    Is 'lifelong understanding' countable or uncountable?
    Do I have to use 'a'?
    Thanks.

    Greetings Clapec,

    It is not countable. Nor is it particularly clear. An example sentence and some context would be helpful.

    regards,
    Cuchuflete
     

    clapec

    Senior Member
    Italian
    'The book offers sound advice on organising homework while implanting (a?) lifelong understanding and appreciation of literature.'

    :confused:
     
    By explaining something hitherto unknown to a person. For example if you were to have a frank discussion with an adolescent about casual relationships as opposed to committed relationships, explaining the relevance of emotional involvement and mutual respect, wanting what is best for each other, then you would be 'sowing the seeds' or 'implanting' a better understanding of how relationships work. I realise these things generally come with experience but a discussion (i.e. passing on one's own experiences) can often help a young person to see things differently. I did this with great success with my own two sons when their hormones were telling them to 'go forth and multiply' - my experience enabled them to form well-balanced and enduring friendships with their girlfriends. Times have changed, I know, just call me 'old fashioned'.
     
    clapec said:
    'The book offers sound advice on organising homework while implanting (a?) lifelong understanding and appreciation of literature.'


    :confused:

    If you use 'understanding' on its own then it would be 'an understanding' but because it takes an adjective 'lifelong' then it becomes 'a lifelong understanding'.

    My English Litertaure classes at school implanted in me 'a lifelong understanding and appreciation of literature.'
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    clapec said:
    'The book offers sound advice on organising homework while implanting (a?) lifelong understanding and appreciation of literature.'


    :confused:
    I would definitely use the indefinite article "a" in this sentence. But may I endorse the:confused: ?
    I have great difficulty with the sentence for two reasons.

    (1) I don't understand how a book that offers advice on organising homework could possibly have any impact on a student's understanding or appreciation of literature.

    (2) I might accept "... implanting an appreciation of literature," but I have difficulty with "... implanting an understanding of literature."
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    clapec said:
    :confused: The sentence is taken from an English written exam...
    I supposed it was correct...

    Dear Clapec,
    I beg your indulgence for my remarks...the sentence may well be correct in terms of grammar; it's the logic I was poking fun at. I may read, with care and comprehension, a manual for changing spark plugs on my lawn mower. That this would give me, by implantation or other means, a lifelong appreciation for cutting grass or for lawns in still open to debate.

    regards,
    Cuchuflete
     

    clapec

    Senior Member
    Italian
    :) and what about "implanting lifelong understanding and appreciation of literature"? (without 'a')? Would it be wrong?
    And "some lifelong understanding and appreciation of literature"?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The book offers sound advice on organising homework while implanting lifelong understanding and appreciation of literature.

    The book offers sound advice on organising homework while implanting a lifelong understanding and appreciation of literature.

    The book offers sound advice on organising homework while implanting some lifelong understanding and appreciation of literature.

    Grammatically, these sentences are OK.
    As I, and others, have commented, this does not help to make the sentences logical, sensible or meaningful.
     
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