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machine vs. machinery, etc.

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:58 pm
by ahphan
I am trying to find other possible (in English) like machine (countable) and machiney (uncountable.) Anyone can help please?

machine vs. machinery, etc.

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:29 pm
by dalehileman
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"

machine vs. machinery, etc.

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:08 pm
by Erik_Kowal
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).

machine vs. machinery, etc.

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:49 pm
by brian
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.

machine vs. machinery, etc.

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:57 pm
by Erik_Kowal
'Poors'?

machine vs. machinery, etc.

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:03 pm
by dalehileman
Erik of course you are right. Would the following work

Comrade, comradery; bag, baggage; human, humanity; gimmick, gimmickry; I'm not good at this

machine vs. machinery, etc.

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:23 pm
by Erik_Kowal
Dale, I think you are right on the money with those examples.

machine vs. machinery, etc.

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:39 pm
by dalehileman
Erik I am gratified as I need the support

machine vs. machinery, etc.

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:07 pm
by brian
Apologies for the s clinging on the poor, as if they had no other problems.

machine vs. machinery, etc.

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