Many of their goods

Jenny_Ben

Senior Member
Hindi
Hello everyone,


My question is:

Is the following sentence grammatical and idiomatic?

They send many of their goods to Mesopotamia and Egypt.

(I am confused due to the nature of the word 'goods' - it is uncountable and plural at the same time.)


Your replies will be appreciated.

Thank you.
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The bolded part sounds fine to me.
    You cannot call a plural noun uncountable because uncountable nouns, by definition, do not take a plural form.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That’s precisely the point I was about to make. The word “goods” is an exception — although, even more oddly, it also differs from some of its fellow exceptions (such as clothes, measles, remains) which, as nouns, are never used in the singular, without an “s”.

    Goods means property, belongings, or merchandise to to be sold. A goods train is one that transports goods rather than passengers.

    There is also a singular noun – good – but it’s very rarely used.
     

    Jenny_Ben

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    That’s precisely the point I was about to make. The word “goods” is an exception — although, even more oddly, it also differs from some of its fellow exceptions (such as clothes, measles, remains) which, as nouns, are never used in the singular, without an “s”.

    Goods means property, belongings, or merchandise to to be sold. A goods train is one that transports goods rather than passengers.

    There is also a singular noun – good – but it’s very rarely used.
    So, what should I conclude?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Goods is plural in form and plural in grammar (like clothes but unlike measles). So "many of their goods" is correct in your sentence.

    grassy, we do have plural uncountables. We can say "many goods", but not "25 goods".
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There is also a singular noun – good – but it’s very rarely used.
    I think I should maybe retract the above statement, since I’ve just discovered that in the field of economics the singular word “good” (meaning a merchantable commodity) is widely used.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Is what grammatical? If an economist talks about "a good" then probably yes. If the man in the street starts using "goods" countably, no. But that wasn't the topic of your original question.
     

    Jenny_Ben

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Is what grammatical? If an economist talks about "a good" then probably yes. If the man in the street starts using "goods" countably, no. But that wasn't the topic of your original question.
    I know that my original question was different. Please go back through the discussion - you will find that the "goods/good" debate was not started by me.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Please go back through the discussion - you will find that the "goods/good" debate was not started by me.
    Then what did you mean when you said in the OP “I am confused due to the nature of the word 'goods' - it is uncountable and plural at the same time”? After agreeing with the first answer given, you then provided a link that gives the following explanation:

    Some uncountable nouns are plural. They have no singular forms with the same meaning and cannot be used with numbers. Examples are: groceries, arms, remains, goods, clothes, customs, thanks, regards, police etc.
    Is there still something you don’t understand?
     

    Jenny_Ben

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Then what did you mean when you said in the OP “I am confused due to the nature of the word 'goods' - it is uncountable and plural at the same time”?
    Is there still something you don’t understand?
    Hello again. "I am confused due to the nature of the word 'goods' - it is uncountable and plural at the same time." does not say anything about the word 'good'. The nature of the word 'goods' was confusing to me, but everything is clear now. Thank you for helping me understand the concept of plural uncountable nouns.
     
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