“I couldn’t find a parking anywhere.”

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 more than 14 years experience teaching francophone professionals in the greater Montreal area.

“We bought two new equipments.”

MassWhy wrong:  Equipment, like information, is a non-count or mass noun. Mass nouns are used for masses like sand that are too big to count their individual parts.  That means that they can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number). In French, mass nouns are signified by du, de la or de l’.  For more information, click here.Biz Group

Correct it: With mass nouns, don’t use indefinite articles (an equipment) or try to make them plural (equipments). “We bought two new pieces of equipment.”.

Would you like to help your employees improve their English? Contact Roy for more information without obligation.  You can even have a free half-hour consultation.

“Let me give you an advice.”

MassWhy wrong:  Advice, like information, is a non-count or mass noun. Mass nouns are used for masses like sand that are too big to count their individual parts.  That means that they can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number). In French, mass nouns are signified by du, de la or de l’.  For more information, click here.Team

Correct it: With mass nouns, don’t use indefinite articles (an advice) or try to make them plural (advices). If you mean only one thing, say “Let me give you a piece of advice.”  If you mean many things, it should be  “Let me give you some advice.”.

Would you like to help your employees improve their English? Contact Roy

“Here are the informations you wanted.”

IMG_2893Why wrong: Information is a non-count noun for masses that are too big to be counted. For more information, click here.

Correct it:  “Here is the information you wanted.”  If you mean only one thing, say a piece of information.  If you mean many things, say some information.  

Would you like to help your employees go in the right direction with their English?  Contact Roy to give workshops to your organization.
Compass

“I have a good news and a bad news.”

IMG_2896Why wrongNews  is a non-count or mass  nounThat means that it can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a means one, which is a number).  The fact that certain words end with s (like boss, bus or gas ) doesn’t make them plural. For more information, click here.Training

Correct it:  With mass nouns, don’t use an indefinite article (a new) or try to make them plural (newses):  “I have good news and bad news.”

Roy has over 13 years experience teaching English as a Second Language to French-speaking businesspeople.  Contact him and reach your full potential!