Hat and Coat (Small)Why wrong:  Gerunds, noun-verb hybrids ending in -ing are usually non-count or mass nouns.  They refer to activities, such as swimming, smoking or camping.  If you see a sign that says “No parking” it means that the activity is forbidden there. 

Mass nouns can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number). Sometimes, the same spelling can be used for a noun and a gerund (e.g.  an opening, a beginning or an ending). For more information, click here.Biz Group (Small)

Correct it: With gerunds, don’t use indefinite articles (a parking) or try to make them plural (parkings). If you mean only one spot, say “I couldn’t find a parking space.”  If you mean the entire area where many cars are parked, call it a parking lot.  They are spaces and lots.  Parking is what people do there.

Do your employees need to improve their English? Contact Roy!  He has almost 20 years experience teaching francophone professionals in the greater Montreal area.

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Roy Almaas

Anglaide was founded in 2001 by Roy Almaas, Professional Conversation Coach.

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“I couldn’t find a parking anywhere.”