machine vs. machinery, etc.

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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by ahphan » Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:58 pm

I am trying to find other possible (in English) like machine (countable) and machiney (uncountable.) Anyone can help please?
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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by dalehileman » Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:29 pm

Phan: welcome to WW and thank you for your question. However, we (or I) are not entirely sure what you need. If you want examples of other phrases like "machine countable," then perhaps "machine readable" would qualify; meaning easily capable of being converted to an electrical (usu digital) signal, as the bar code on retail merchandise

"Machiney" is not a common English word; perhaps you mean "machinery". Also we would be more likely to say "not machine countable" rather than "machine uncountable"
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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:08 pm

I suspect that what ahphan is after is examples of words which have both a generic form that relates to an indeterminate quantity of an item (what he/she calls 'uncountable'), and also a specific or determinate form that would be used to describe a discrete number of items (what ahphan calls 'countable'). An example might be 'food' (indeterminate) and 'foods' (determinate).
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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by brian » Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:49 pm

You can count the fools but not the folly. You can aslo count the poors but not the poverty. I think this is what the questioner wants to know.
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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:57 pm

'Poors'?
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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by dalehileman » Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:03 pm

Erik of course you are right. Would the following work

Comrade, comradery; bag, baggage; human, humanity; gimmick, gimmickry; I'm not good at this
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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:23 pm

Dale, I think you are right on the money with those examples.
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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by dalehileman » Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:39 pm

Erik I am gratified as I need the support
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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by brian » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:07 pm

Apologies for the s clinging on the poor, as if they had no other problems.
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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Post by Andrew Dalby » Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:46 pm

That's it Brian, they can be counted but they can't be pluralised (or pluralized for that matter). A significant difference perhaps between English and (e.g.) French, in which you can treat any adjective (that I can think of) as a noun and so you can indeed say 'les pauvres'. Doesn't help them much though ...

Andrew
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