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clouds, winds, but rain?

 
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crliu



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 10:48 pm    Post subject: clouds, winds, but rain? Reply with quote

I often notice weathermen use the following expressions:

There aren't clouds in the sky today.

There will be strong winds this afternoon.

There has been heavy rain all day.

What are the usage rules, if there are any, regarding the number of these weather-related nouns such as cloud, wind, rain, etc.?

Thank you in advance for your help.
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dduck



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 109
Location: Scotland/Mexico

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only difference that occurs to me at the moment is:

Countable verus Uncountable nouns.

Some nouns are counted individually in English, e.g. eggs: 1 egg, 2 eggs, 3 eggs, etc. Whereas other nouns are measured in quantities e.g. water, 1 litre, 2 litres, 3 litres etc.

Wind and Clouds can be counted. Though generally we speak about North, South, East or West winds, and who is going to bother counting all the number of clouds in the sky, not I! But it is possible in the language.

Rain is uncountable, in English we measure rain instead of count it, normally by the millilitre or inches. Sometimes we say, by the bucketfull (an idiom).

Hope this helps.
Iain
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Corey



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Posts: 445
Location: Costa Rica

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally I would say most weather-related things are singular since we are really talking about "the climate", which is singular.

IT is rainy, IT is hot, etc....

Wind, cloud, etc... can be countable or uncountable, depending on how you use them.

A nimbus CLOUD is generally white.

The CLOUDS form a circle.

Hope this helps,

Corey
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Lib



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cloud uncountable???
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