Showing support(s)

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. Continue reading

(members of an) Audience (s)

Several audiences left before the film finished.

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’: Continue reading

Experiencing failure with countability

Moreover, a failure can be caused by a lack of practical experiences.

It’s annoying, I know, but while some nouns are countable and others are uncountable, yet others can be either countable or uncountable, and here are two examples in the same sentence: failure and experience. Continue reading

Fighting crime(s)

The government need to make more of an effort to fight crimes.

Crime can be countable or uncountable, and as with other nouns that behave like this, the uncountable form has a more general meaning and the countable more specific.

Another way to look at this is to notice that fight and crime (without ‘s’) collocate strongly: Continue reading