This has two literal meanings, both of which seem odd:
You only need small equipment to play badminton.
You need not enough equipment to play badminton.
Clearly the writer did not intend either of these meanings. First of all there is obviously a standard size for badminton equipment, which is neither small nor large. Secondly, it would be impossible to play badminton without ‘enough’ equipment!
Little and a little have quite different meanings. Compare:
Gosh I’m thirsty after that game! Do you have any water left?
Yes, I still have a little. Here you are.
[a little = not much, but enough]
I wish we could play badminton more often!
Yes, but because of my job I have little time.
[little = not enough]
In the opening example, the writer is – I think – trying to say that playing badminton does not involve a lot of equipment:
You don’t need much equipment to play badminton.
In this case, not much means enough, and that’s good because it means that badminton is inexpensive compared to, say, photography, which generally involves a lot of expensive equipment and therefore a lot of spending!
There is an increasing competition which results in several negative effects.
Compare the following meanings.
He won first prize in the competition.
(competition, countable = an organised event in which people compete with each other – in front of an audience – to win a prize or a medal) [kompetisi / lomba / pertandingan]
There is fierce competition among rival tech companies.
(competition, uncountable = a situation in which a person or an organisation is trying to be more successful – often financially – than another person or organisation) [saingan]
Apple – Samsung
In the opening example our writer is using meaning (1), but I think he should be using meaning (2). First of all it’s difficult to imagine a competition, like the Olympic Games, ‘increasing’. What does that mean? Does it mean more countries are taking part? Or more people are taking part? Or more events are included now? And anyway, who would consider any of these increases to be ‘negative’?
I think the writer means this:
There is increasing competition which results in several negative effects.
Space exploration does not improve conditions in the society.
Recently in class we were discussing the difference between society and community and it occurred to me that this might be an opportunity to contrast societyand the society (see also previous post).
As you may be aware, there are so-called ‘uncontacted peoples‘ living in forests in different parts of the world. These people form communities whose social structures are very different from those found in modernsociety. This is because uncontacted peoples – for whatever reason – are cut off from the rest of society.
In this case, society (uncountable, without the) refers to all of humanity. Meanwhile community (here countable) refers to a group having shared values, interests and lifestyle. Academics sometimes identify uncontacted peoples as primitivesocieties (plural countable), where eachsociety can be counted as a separate group having unique social characteristics. Note, however, that the countable use of society tends to be restricted to the fields of anthropology, sociology, and other social sciences.
If we wish to talk about society (uncountable, without the) to mean all of humanity, then our opening sentence should probably read:
Space exploration does not improve conditions insociety.
A common error made by Indonesian students is to write the society (a particular group) when you really mean society (all of humanity).
For further analysis of society and the society try here.
They have somehow shown their supports and encouraged me to pursue postgraduate study.
Right collocation (v. show, n. support), wrong form (at least in this context).
‘Support‘ is one of those annoying words that can be countable and can be uncountable. In its countable form it refers to a physical support (or supports), for example the supports used to stop a building from falling down:
In its uncountable form, ‘support‘ refers to a more abstract support that may be physical but can also be emotional. I think it was this second meaning that you were aiming to communicate:
They have somehow shown their support and encouraged me to pursue postgraduate study.
Again, the collocation is good: v. show, n. support!
Audience is indeed countable but it is a ‘collective’ noun, and so an (=1) audience can comprise many people. If you want to focus on a subgroup of an audience then it is common to refer to these people as ‘members of an audience’:
Several members of the audience left before the film finished.
An example of audiences (plural) might be:
The opening of the new James Bond film was enjoyed by audiences up and down the country.
In this case the same film was watched simultaneously by many different groups of people (audiences) in many different locations.
I’ll end this post with two illustrations. The first shows audience, the second audiences.