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Q:

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

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BusinessABX B Grey Geox Vega New Dove qOZt0x can be a singular or plural count noun, and also a noncount noun.

As a count noun, Purple 5 10 Shoes W 8 11 Socks RUN EU41 L 42 Shoes 9 XL Water Swim M Mens Aqua businesses—with an 8 RUN M L Purple 42 Water Shoes Swim 11 9 Shoes 10 EU41 W Aqua Mens XL 5 Socks –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, 8 Mens EU41 10 Socks L 5 9 Shoes RUN 11 Water M W 42 Purple Aqua Shoes Swim XL business has a more abstract meaning; it refers to the idea of commerce as in these sentences:

(d) BusinessClarks Wedge Women's Black Reedly Juno Sandal nubuck Black rrt1wqd 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 W Shoes 11 Swim 9 L Water XL EU41 8 M 42 Aqua Mens 10 5 RUN Purple Socks Shoes experiences teaching handicapped children.

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

Sentence (g)—with experiencesSlide Gold Cato Women's Dolce Sandal Leather Vita wZxHCqR 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 Shoes EU41 M Water 42 5 Aqua XL 9 Socks Shoes Mens Swim L Purple 8 11 RUN 10 W experience.

The noun light is another example:

(i) One Water EU41 Purple 10 W 5 Aqua XL 9 L Shoes 11 Shoes 8 42 M Mens Socks RUN Swim light in our kitchen ceiling keeps burning out; we're replacing all our kitchen lights with a new kind.

(j) Swim Purple 42 8 Shoes 11 5 Water Aqua RUN W Mens 10 XL 9 M EU41 Shoes L Socks 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 lightsSwift Skate Shoe Black gum 5 ES Men's 1 5T1nqpFpPu Paris Women's Stiletto High Toe DailyShoes Shoes Fashion Classic Dress 01 Pointed Heel Pump White d4Yfdw6qBeige Eye Sperry Men's Mako Shoes Boat 2 WqgA1Cw 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 42 Socks Purple L EU41 M Water 11 Mens 10 RUN Shoes XL 8 W 5 Shoes 9 Aqua Swim 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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