Welcome to
ESL Printables, the website where English Language teachers exchange resources: worksheets, lesson plans,  activities, etc.
Our collection is growing every day with the help of many teachers. If you want to download you have to send your own contributions.

 


 

 

 

ESL Forum:

Techniques and methods in Language Teaching

Games, activities and teaching ideas

Grammar and Linguistics

Teaching material

Concerning worksheets

Concerning powerpoints

Concerning online exercises

Make suggestions, report errors

Ask for help

Message board

 

ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Transport or transports (countable or uncountable)?    

Transport or transports (countable or uncountable)?



evl422
United Kingdom

Transport or transports (countable or uncountable)?
 
I īve seen lots of worksheets recently whose titles all contain the word "transports". Unless this is an American English issue (I īm British), I believe "transport", as in vehicles, is always uncountable? To make a plural, you could use one of the following:
1) Modes of transport.
2) Means of transport.
3) Forms of transport.


I found an entry [ http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/transport ] which states that it is both countable and uncountable, but I believe it is only used in the countable sense when not referring to vehicles (e.g. "The driver took the goods to the city - he made a transport. He did it again - he had made two transports of the goods." - although it seems like a rather unnatural use of the language to me.)

I think the worst issue with using "transports" to refer to vehicles is the vagueness of it: "There are two transports to the hotel." - so does that mean you can "go by taxi or bus" (of which there may be many vehicles) or that there are only two vehicles available?

What are your thoughts?

2 May 2009      



sldiaz
Panama

What about means of transportation? Thatīs what I usually use...is that incorrect??

2 May 2009     



evl422
United Kingdom

Substituting "transportation" is fine too:

transportation (uncountable)

  1. The act of transporting, or the state of being transported; conveyance, often of people, goods etc.
    We have to get people out of their cars and encourage them to use alternative forms of transportation.

2 May 2009     



mariamit
Greece

Americans don īt use transportations either. The explanations you quote are all correct, evl422. 

2 May 2009     



mjotab
Spain

And it was very interesting and useful to those of us who do not speak English as our mother tongue. Please, do it more often. Thank you.

2 May 2009     



Spagman63
Hong Kong

We use the same as you Brits.

2 May 2009     



Spagman63
Hong Kong

What about "fruits"?  I have never seen this as plural until I can here to Hong Kong.  I lived in England for 6 years and don īt recall it being used.  I have always considered fruit-the food- uncountable.  We do use fruits but it is as a result of an action not the plural of the food.

2 May 2009     



ants
Switzerland

As we īre teaching British English here in Switzerland we only use transportation and fruit.
 
I don īt know if fruits is American but I don īt teach it to my kids, teens or adults.
For me it īs uncountable until we start counting, apples, oranges, etc.Smile

2 May 2009     



douglas
United States

As a Californian (US English is my mother tongue)  I have always said and heard: "means of transportation"  never "means of transport".  For me transport is a verb, not a noun in almost every case.
 
 
Fruit is an interesting one, this is how I explain it: 
 
In one case (most common) it is uncountable: "There is a lot of fruit in the fruit bowl, I counted fifteen pieces of fruit."
 
It can also be used as countable: "There are three different fruits in the fruit bowl: apples, bananas, and cherries."

2 May 2009     



evl422
United Kingdom

I īve personally heard and used both transport and transportation. I think they īre interchangeable in this case. Transportation may be more frequently seen as a title for work, etc because it is only a noun, unlike transport, so the meaning is a little clearer - it also sounds a little more formal.


Fruit vs Fruits: Douglas ī explanation explains it about as simply as possible. Generally only use the plural when you are talking specifically about different types of fruits - although you īll often hear things such as "How many types of fruit are in the bowl?" - using the plural is often ignored in casual speech altogether. Even more confusing is the whole debate about the question "What is your favourite fruit?"...
Which is correct:
1) Apple is my favourite fruit. (This is answering in the sense of a piece of apple.)
2) Apples are my favourite fruit. (But the question asked "is" not "are").
3) Apples are my favourite fruits. (But the question was fruit - no s).

From what I īve read, native speakers may answer with any one of these, but number 2 being the most common and generally being considered a reasonable trade-off.

The most (grammatically) correct answer should be "The apple is my favourite fruit." - but the chance of hearing that, other from an upper-class member of society, is very unlikely.

2 May 2009     



Ayaniw
Algeria

hi evl422!
You īre quite right transport is uncountable and used mainly by the British.
The Americans use transportation instead.

2 May 2009     

1    2    Next >