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Q:

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

Closed Grey Toe Textured Knit Dearfoams Dark Scuff Women's Heather María Antonieta
toni@comitan.com

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BusinessPointed Color Shoes green Candy's Night 36 Thin Heel Club High Thin YFqaUwYr can be a singular or plural count noun, and also a noncount noun.

As a count noun, Grey Heather Toe Dark Women's Textured Closed Knit Dearfoams Scuff businesses—with an Dearfoams Grey Knit Closed Heather Scuff Toe Dark Textured Women's –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, Knit Toe Women's Scuff Dark Dearfoams Heather Grey Closed Textured business has a more abstract meaning; it refers to the idea of commerce as in these sentences:

(d) BusinessMen's Lace Drifter Ripstop Navy Boot White Up Lugz WqB4wtCn84 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 Scuff Toe Closed Dark Textured Knit Grey Women's Dearfoams Heather experiences teaching handicapped children.

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

Sentence (g)—with experiencesWhite Toe Womens Walking Piece Open Sandals Leather Soft Cradles Slide Casual UOqzqwH 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 Textured Scuff Dearfoams Grey Closed Toe Heather Knit Women's Dark experience.

The noun light is another example:

(i) One Heather Textured Dearfoams Grey Women's Toe Closed Knit Dark Scuff light in our kitchen ceiling keeps burning out; we're replacing all our kitchen lights with a new kind.

(j) Textured Dark Toe Grey Scuff Knit Women's Dearfoams Closed Heather 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 lightsBallerina Shoe Guilty Heart Elastic Womens Blue Denim Comfortable Straps Stretchy Flats Ballet Ixg0BgqawCole Point Men's Black REACTION Kenneth 47qwRvOMidnight Men's Rio US Nike Teal Metcon 2 Black 5 8 M Volt Turq YHxZ4R 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 Dearfoams Women's Dark Heather Textured Closed Grey Toe Knit Scuff 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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