inspire a hope, a certainty [Indefinite Article?]

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Sallyemad

Member
Arabic
In the sentence "These passages inspire a hope but do not sustain a certainty." Hope and certainty are uncountable abstract nouns. How can they get an indefinite article? Shouldn't it be "These passages inspire hope but do not sustain certainty."?
Thank you!
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I don't know how you are using "abstract" so I won't agree or disagree. Let's look at an example.

    The first meaning of "hope" is an uncountable noun: "a feeling that events will turn out well".
    The second meaning (a countable noun) is an instance of that (one event; one experience).

    For example, if you are sick I hope (verb) that you will feel better. That is one hope -- that is a hope. That is one instance of me feeling hope.
     

    Sallyemad

    Member
    Arabic
    I don't know how you are using "abstract" so I won't agree or disagree. Let's look at an example.

    The first meaning of "hope" is an uncountable noun: "a feeling that events will turn out well".
    The second meaning (a countable noun) is an instance of that (one event; one experience).

    For example, if you are sick I hope (verb) that you will feel better. That is one hope -- that is a hope. That is one instance of me feeling hope.
    That is a very clear explanation! Thank you dojbear!
     
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