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leo malettadded a note 3 months ago

note (en-en)

How come "a few" (as in "There are a few questions we should discuss today.") behaves like plural, while "a lot" (as in "There's a lot of stuff going on in my life right now.") behaves like singular?

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Discussion (14)

🇺🇸 Uly 🐝added a comment 3 months ago

I don't agree: there are a few questionS there are a lot of questionS. But with a collective noun: there's a little stuff there's a lot of stuff. QUESTIONS are countable, STUFF is uncountable (and therefore treated as singular).

Alexander Аkimovadded a comment 3 months ago

Uly, you don't agree that STUFF is a plural noun as stated on the site, right?

🇺🇸 Uly 🐝added a comment 3 months ago

No, I don’t agree. It’s a collective noun that has no plural.

🇺🇸 Uly 🐝added a comment 3 months ago

They also say that stuff is not a common noun. Really?

Alexander Аkimovadded a comment 3 months ago

As I could read, they said "StuffS is not in common use." Anyway, it's obvious that stuff is not used in plural. Thanks, Uly!

Alexander Аkimovadded a comment 3 months ago

By the way, we have the similar case in Russian: the word БАРАХЛО is never used in plural. кое-как напихал своё барахло в чемодан и помчался на вокзал." "Чьё это барахло валяется на полу?" Same works for such words as бабьё (бабы), мужичьё (мужики), солдатня (солдаты), шмотьё (шмотки, т.е. предметы одежды).

leo malettadded a comment 3 months ago

Quick recap: if the noun is uncountable we treat it as singular (there's a lot/few); and if the noun is countable we treat it as plural (there are a lot/a few)?

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