Way to say "only one information"

vinsjr

New Member
Italian
Hello,
I have a strange question for you: when I was younger, my teacher tought me that the word "information" was uncountable and it was only plural; so she said that when we wanted to know only one information, we had to use the preposition "a piece of information". For example:
Can I have a piece of information, please?
Is it correct? You can't imagine how many bad marks I got for this stupid thing. :D
How can I say only one information? Thanks.
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I need some information.

    What information?

    When does the train from Philadelphia arrive?


    Despite the fact that I was seeing just one fact, I would use "some". I would consider the above colloquial. I'd be interested in hearing what others say.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A piece of information :tick:

    A bit of information :tick:

    There may be more, but these are common.

    We don't say 'one information'.

    Cross-posted. And I agree, again, with Packard. 'Some information' works in that context.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Your teacher was correct. "Information" is countable and can be used in the plural in some European languages - it is in French, and perhaps it is in Italian as well. You are not asking about any of those languages. In English, even though the base word resembles the word that is used in those languages, it is not countable. There is no such thing (in English) as "one information."
     
    UK guide to private prosecution

    www.mccue-law.com/wp.../09/UK-guide-to-private-prosecution1.pdf
    S.6(1) of the PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES ACT. 1985 (POA). 2. The private prosecution is commenced by laying an 'information' at, followed by the issue of a ...

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Canadian_Criminal_Procedure_and_Practice/Informations_and_Indictments
    Informations and Indictments
    Criminal charges are set out in written form, either through an Indictment or an Information. An Indictment is the form of a charge typically handled in superior court while an information is the form used in provincial court.

    An information is a accusation sworn by a peace officer. (s. 507, 508, 788, 789 and Form 2) The indictment is an unsworn accusation.(s.566,580, 591 and Form 4)
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Hello Vincenzo.:)

    I am bilingual. I know exactly what your pronlem is: you are translating directly from your native language. For example, an Italian would ask (in Italian): Can I have an information? Fine in Italian, but totally wrong in English. We'd ask somebody for (some) information.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    UK guide to private prosecution

    www.mccue-law.com/wp.../09/UK-guide-to-private-prosecution1.pdf
    S.6(1) of the PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES ACT. 1985 (POA). 2. The private prosecution is commenced by laying an 'information' at, followed by the issue of a ...

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Canadian_Criminal_Procedure_and_Practice/Informations_and_Indictments


    Informations and Indictments

    Criminal charges are set out in written form, either through an Indictment or an Information. An Indictment is the form of a charge typically handled in superior court while an information is the form used in provincial court.

    An information is a accusation sworn by a peace officer. (s. 507, 508, 788, 789 and Form 2) The indictment is an unsworn accusation.(s.566,580, 591 and Form 4)
    While this is correct, it is a specialized usage in the legal field, unrelated to the general use of the word, and likely to confuse an English learner.
     
    I expect the reader of post #8, to have read the seven previous, including my own, which cover the basic ground. I also fail to see why it's unrelated to the general use of the word. A number of mass nouns can take 'a'--that is, lose their mass-ness-- in particular contexts, hence, "a water," "a honey," a "wine" etc.

    While this is correct, it is a specialized usage in the legal field, unrelated to the general use of the word, and likely to confuse an English learner.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Can I have a piece of information, please?
    Is it correct?
    You haven't given us any context for asking for a 'piece of information, vinsjr. Please explain a little what the situation might be.
     
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