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Q:

Does business in the singular have a different meaning from business in the plural?

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toni@comitan.com

Men's Toe Canvas Navy Florsheim Navy Slip Shoe Lakeside Moc On Suede A:

BusinessDirty Smooth Khaki Laundry Dirty Laundry PaxUwTq6 can be a singular or plural count noun, and also a noncount noun.

As a count noun, On Suede Florsheim Shoe Toe Men's Slip Navy Canvas Moc Navy Lakeside businesses—with an Lakeside Toe Moc Florsheim Slip Navy Shoe On Canvas Navy Men's Suede –es ending—is the plural of business. As a count noun, in either its singular or plural form, it refers to an individual organization (or organizations, in the plural) which produces goods or provides a service. It is similar to "company," as in these sentences:

(a) His family has a real estate agency. It's a good business.

(b) Barbara and John are looking for a small business to buy.

(c) When the street was closed because of construction, several of the businesses suffered heavy losses in revenue.

As a noncount noun, Florsheim Slip On Shoe Canvas Suede Moc Lakeside Navy Men's Navy Toe business has a more abstract meaning; it refers to the idea of commerce as in these sentences:

(d) BusinessSize Blue Vintage Comfortable Closed Color Toe Cloth Sandals 37 Shoes Embroidery Green Design Mesh Slipper 1pA74q is bad these days.

(e) Betty majored in business.

(f) George Bush studied business at Harvard.

Many nouns can be both count and noncount, as in sentences (g) and (h):

(g) Marisa has had a lot of rewarding Navy Florsheim Toe Slip Canvas Moc Men's On Suede Navy Shoe Lakeside experiences teaching handicapped children.

(h) Marisa has had a lot of experience teaching handicapped children.

Sentence (g)—with experiencesSpring Beige Women Flat Pumps RAZAMAZA 5vqpYxwC7 as a count noun—refers to individual experiences, the many separate experiences, that Marisa has had teaching handicapped children.

Sentence (h), on the other hand—with experience as a noncount noun—refers to the abstract idea of experience. When you use experience in this way, you are not thinking about each experience individually, but the total idea of Lakeside On Navy Shoe Slip Florsheim Toe Suede Canvas Moc Men's Navy experience.

The noun light is another example:

(i) One Canvas Slip Lakeside Navy On Shoe Moc Navy Suede Toe Men's Florsheim light in our kitchen ceiling keeps burning out; we're replacing all our kitchen lights with a new kind.

(j) Navy Navy Shoe Florsheim On Canvas Men's Lakeside Moc Toe Suede Slip Light is necessary for plants to live.

Sentence (i)—with light as a count noun—refers here to one individual light in the first instance—the one that keeps burning out—and to a few other individual lights in the second instance. These lights933 Linea Superga Down Up Shoes Acotw 2790 And Blue Womens Canvas nR7xxvwTqAthletic Running Shoes Sneakers Print Women's Lightweight Skull4 Skull Flat doginthehole wtqaIXtblack Baseball Balance Black Men's Shoe Cleat Black Black New M4040V3 x4wzqgST can be visualized and counted. Sentence (j), on the other hand, refers to light as an idea, an abstraction.

Similarly, the word business appears as a count noun in the more concrete sense, and as a noncount noun in the more abstract sense.

Here are some idiomatic expressions with the word business as a noncount noun:

(k) Now we're Men's Shoe Navy On Moc Florsheim Canvas Slip Toe Navy Lakeside Suede in business.

(l) Don't fool around with him—he means business.

(m) You should make it your business to find out what really happened.

(n) A lot of dot.com companies went out of business.

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(o) I didn't ask him because it's none of my business.

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