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# Recently one of our students asked a very interesting

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e-GMAT Representative
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02 Oct 2012, 07:37
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Recently one of our students asked a very interesting question. Thought I'd share that with the community.
Quote:
Is incentive countable or un-countable? I think it is countable since it passes both tests indicated in your concept Idioms - Quantity.

first test - I can say 1 incentive, 2 incentives, 3 incentives
second test - the plural form "incentives" exists.

Then don't you think that this sentence in the pre-assessment test of this concept is incorrect?
Not much incentive has been provided to the farmers to grow organic foods.

Note that the sentence I provided above is not the exact sentence that is in the pre-assessment quiz, but it on he lines of the sentence in question.

So what do you all think about this question at hand? Is the sentence provided incorrect? If not, then how can you justify the disconnect. After all the word - incentive - does meet the requirements of being a countable noun - so why is the use of "much" correct in the sentence provided?

Feel free to bring in your examples. I will provide my response after I get a few responses from you all.

Thanks,

Payal
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Re: Incentive - countable or un-countable [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2012, 14:13
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I think, Incentive is both a countable and uncountable noun. Both of the sentences below sound correct to me.

I give my kids many incentives to wake up early

I have a little inventive to take up the promotion.
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24 Oct 2012, 01:34
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SC prep is waste without meaning it has been always important , but it was not given much stress by prep companies. But Sc meaning is considered a core of SC by E-Gmat.
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Re: Incentive - countable or un-countable [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2012, 08:34
Yes you are absolutely correct @srikirs007. Basically this word like many other words can be used in more than ways - one of which is countable and the other is un-countable. And this depends on the context in which the word has been used. So you always need to understand the MEANING or the INTENT of this word.

If you want to measure the extent of motivation offered in ONE particular INCENTIVE, then incentive is singular. For example your second sentence:
srikirs007 wrote:
I have a little inventive to take up the promotion.

Another example - Not much incentive has been provided to the farmers to grow organic foods.

On the other hand, incentive is plural when you can talking about multiple incentives: Here comes your first example:
srikirs007 wrote:
I give my kids many incentives to wake up early.

Another example - Department of Agriculture has implemented about 10 incentives to motivate farmers to grow organic food, each incentive offering both financial and social motivation.

So never just blindly look at a noun and determine its countable nature. Yes there are those words that are countable and the ones that are un-countable. But there definitely are certain words that go either way and this depends on the context in which they are used. So always pay attention to the meaning.

Let's see if I can get some examples for the word "competition". So basically - Give me two examples - 1 in which competition is used in un-countable sense and the other in which competition is used in countable sense.

I look forward to your response.

Takeaway - Go by the context of the sentence.

Regards,

Payal
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Re: Incentive - countable or un-countable [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2012, 10:29
(Singular) Competition: There is fierce competition among players to win the trophy

(Plural) Competition: Teachers in school xyz hold multiple quiz competitions to determine a winner.
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Re: Incentive - countable or un-countable [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2012, 10:39
egmat wrote:
Yes you are absolutely correct @srikirs007. Basically this word like many other words can be used in more than ways - one of which is countable and the other is un-countable. And this depends on the context in which the word has been used. So you always need to understand the MEANING or the INTENT of this word.

If you want to measure the extent of motivation offered in ONE particular INCENTIVE, then incentive is singular. For example your second sentence:
srikirs007 wrote:
I have a little inventive to take up the promotion.

Another example - Not much incentive has been provided to the farmers to grow organic foods.

On the other hand, incentive is plural when you can talking about multiple incentives: Here comes your first example:
srikirs007 wrote:
I give my kids many incentives to wake up early.

Another example - Department of Agriculture has implemented about 10 incentives to motivate farmers to grow organic food, each incentive offering both financial and social motivation.

So never just blindly look at a noun and determine its countable nature. Yes there are those words that are countable and the ones that are un-countable. But there definitely are certain words that go either way and this depends on the context in which they are used. So always pay attention to the meaning.

Let's see if I can get some examples for the word "competition". So basically - Give me two examples - 1 in which competition is used in un-countable sense and the other in which competition is used in countable sense.

I look forward to your response.

Takeaway - Go by the context of the sentence.

Regards,

Payal

I have a fierce competition with myself to achieve the unexpected.

competitions across various sales team is real healthy.
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28 Nov 2015, 01:53
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: Recently one of our students asked a very interesting   [#permalink] 28 Nov 2015, 01:53
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