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[en] Question regarding possessives and plurals

@Mike_Unwalla

Hello!

On 1-JAN-2020 I want to release a UK speller update with near 99% of possessives/plurals included.

However, I have some questions regarding the subject which a native speaker could know:

1:
For example, do genera and family of species accept possessive?


“Culex, Anopheles, and other genera, family Culicidae”

2:
Oxford Dictionaries often claim “Mass noun” in some words. However, some of them accept plural.
Should I add possessives to all mass nouns even if only singular?

3:
Wiktionary claims that some words are “uncountable”.
Do they accept possessive?

Thank you!

Hi @marcoagpinto,

  1. I don’t know. I don’t see a reason why they cannot take a possessive, but possibly, by style/convention, they don’t.

  2. Yes. I don’t know of a reason to not let a mass noun take a possessive.

  3. Yes. (I have always thought that the terms “mass noun” and “uncountable noun” are synonyms. Do you use the terms with different meanings?)

Because many times, Oxford Dictionaries say a word is a mass noun but it has plurals in the examples (can’t remember an example noun).

Also, Wiktionary often says: “uncountable and countable”.

I noticed this because I have been analysing word by word in the GB speller to add the possessives and plurals (I have done it with thousands of words).

Hi @marcoagpinto,

As Wiktionary says, a noun can be both a mass noun (non-count noun, uncountable noun) and a count noun. ‘Double Nouns’ in https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/grammar/nouns has some examples and a discussion.

Oxford Dictionary (https://www.lexico.com) is not always correct. (No dictionary is always correct.)

For information about the countability of nouns, I like https://www.ldoceonline.com.

@Mike_Unwalla

Here is an example of a mass noun with plural:

The Premium version of Oxford Dictionaries states: " noun (plural cookeries)"

Hi @marcoagpinto, thank you for your example of a mass noun that can also be a plural. I did not know about that.

I’ve checked cookery, seems that Oxford merely failed to show the countable readings.