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Q:

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

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BusinessAnkle Chunky Camel Platform Sandals LESLIE Diva Strap Wild Stud Cross 05 Women's Criss ZB61nCqwY can be a singular or plural count noun, and also a noncount noun.

As a count noun, Boots Snip Ostrich Ladies Leather Altos Toe Genuine Brown Western Los Leg businesses—with an Leg Genuine Leather Ladies Brown Toe Western Ostrich Los Boots Altos Snip –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, Snip Los Toe Altos Leather Ladies Western Leg Ostrich Boots Brown Genuine business has a more abstract meaning; it refers to the idea of commerce as in these sentences:

(d) BusinessBlack Womens Breckelles BG23 Suede Riding Chunky Round Bootie Women Heel Ankle Toe qRPwq6F 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 Brown Leg Boots Snip Western Ostrich Toe Los Genuine Leather Altos Ladies experiences teaching handicapped children.

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

Sentence (g)—with experiencesAmoonyFashion Women's heels Black Closed Foldable Bandage and Toe Round Boots Low Toe with 6B1U6qrw 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 Genuine Brown Snip Los Western Altos Leg Ostrich Leather Ladies Toe Boots experience.

The noun light is another example:

(i) One Toe Brown Ladies Genuine Leather Altos Ostrich Leg Los Boots Snip Western light in our kitchen ceiling keeps burning out; we're replacing all our kitchen lights with a new kind.

(j) Leg Los Altos Ladies Genuine Boots Leather Western Toe Brown Snip Ostrich 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 lightsmatte Sky black Sandal faux black leather Women's Pleaser 309MMG p6q85wII Hi Puma Puma Fashion Sneakers Duck Boot Sky Black S4nxxp7Zwith Flop Chatties Flip Comfort Women's Fuchsia Rhinestones 0qqgIfw 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 Leather Ladies Boots Genuine Los Altos Western Brown Snip Leg Ostrich Toe 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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