make a progress/make progress

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Friedrice, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Friedrice New Member

    Taiwan Mandarin
    "make a progress/make progress"

    Are they both correct? What is the difference?
    It is a very annoying problem i have when it comes to use phrasal verbs like this. Is there a method to tell which one is proper?

    Thanks so much for your time and helps.:)
  2. Wobby Senior Member

    English [England]
    I think only 'make progress' is right: 'progress' is a long-term development rather than something short-term that just happens (e.g. If you learn to play the piano, you make progress over a series of lessons, rather than 'a progress' every lesson). Because you wouldn't expect there to be more than one, you don't say 'a'. :)

    The only time I would say 'make a progress...' is if 'progress' were used as part of a noun that could be 'made' - e.g. 'To make a progress report' or something like that. It works because a report is something you only write or 'make' once.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  3. seeinred Member

    American English
    I don't believe I've ever heard "make a progress," but "make progress" is definitely a common phrase.
  4. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    make a progress is not a common locution. "To make progress" is correct. And this is not an instance of a "phrasal verb." It's a normal transitive verb with an object.
  5. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    U.K. English
    Progress is not countable: You can't make several progresses and you can't make a progress. You can make a little progress or a lot of progress.

    The correct form is "to make progress" and, as cyberpedant points out, this is simply the verb to make with an object, not a phrasal verb.

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