Saturday, 13 December 2014

Grammar 101

Last week we looked at "a" and "an" wrongly used with uncountable nouns, today we'll be looking at "a" and "an" wrongly ommited with countable nouns.

1. An accident
Wrong: If you drive at that speed, you will have accident.
Correct: If you drive at that speed, you will have an accident.

2. A bath
Wrong: He went to take bath.
Correct: He went to take a bath.

3. A headache
Wrong: She had headache, and took some tablet.
Correct: She has a. Headache, and took some tablet.

With "toothache" and "stomach ache", "a" nay be either used or left out.

4. A lie
Wrong: I will not tell you lie; he has been sacked.
Correct: I will not tell you a lie; he has been sacked.

5. A name
Wrong: You will not make name for yourself merely by boasting.
Correct: You will not make a name for yourself merely by boasting.

"Make a name" means "earn a good reputation".

6. A surprise, a shock (and other emotions).
Wrong: It gave me great surprise or great shock to hear of your resignation.
Correct: It gave me a great surprise or a great shock to hear of your resignation.

"A" must always be used before "surprise" and "shock" when they are nouns, they are countable. Other words expressing emotion tend to be uncountable.

It gives me great pleasure to be with you today.

But after the verb "be" such nouns become countable, and "a" or "an" may be used:

It was a great pleasure to hear of your son's appointment.


  1. I just wish the Chinese guys in my school would understand that you don't have to add 'S' to everything....'We would like to take a moment to congratulates you on the successful completions of your examinations'....I mean really???...**sigh** I needed to say that after all this is a grammar post eh...hehe...How are you mami?

    1. Hahaha! They prolly don't know they do not have to add 'S' but it's funny though.
      I'm very fine! Infact I feel good

    2. LMAO !!!!
      What would you guys say, if one day, the President decide to make "pidgin English" the official language in Nigeria?... lolz

    3. Ehn make hin change am nah! Nothing dey happen but till then, let's do well not to murder our lingua franca. Where have you been? Nice picture btw

    4. My dear, thank you.... I've been here and there o, plus work stress and all

    5. Awww *hugs* you'll be fine. What's your email addy puleez?

  2. Very great post; informative and fun.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks for visiting beauty; I'm glad you enjoyed this.