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Content vs contents



 
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ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
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Content vs contents #1 (permalink) Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:36 am   Content vs contents
 

Please read:

1/Are you requesting corrections to the grammar of your sentences, or to their content/contents?

You choose content or contents? Why?

2/I know the content/content of this book.

You choose content or contents? Why?

3/I know the content/content of this text.

You choose content or contents? Why?

Quoc
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Content vs contents #2 (permalink) Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:35 am   Content vs contents
 

Hi Quoc

As a basic rule:

Contents usually refers to specific, individual things contained in something. And often anything that is in a container (such as a can or a bottle) is referred to as contents.

Content usually refers to a more general concept. In other words, all of the things contained in something are seen as one whole thing.

It sometimes doesn't matter whether you say content or contents. Sometimes it's just a matter of what the usual collocation is --- and that has to be learned on a case-by-case basis. (Similar to the way you learn vocabulary.)

Books often have a "table of contents". This is a listing of all the specific, individual chapters contained in the book.

For example, your grammar book probably has a table of contents which lists the specific chapters/units and the specific grammar points covered in each.

But you might say the content of your grammar book is grammar (a more general concept).
.
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Stress #3 (permalink) Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:39 am   Stress
 

...and when you put stress on the last syllable, then

content = pleasure, satisfaction
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Content vs contents #4 (permalink) Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:55 am   Content vs contents
 

Thanks teacher,

Now, please tell me right or wrong?

1. The contents of this container are hardwood, saw,door-nail,...

2.The content of this container is building materials.

Quoc
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Content #5 (permalink) Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:02 am   Content
 

Hi,

I would suggest you read Amy's explanation again.

Alan
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Content #6 (permalink) Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:13 am   Content
 

Yes, I read it.

Please read:

1. The contents of this container are hardwood, saw,door-nail,...

I think (1) is correct because I am referring the various things in the container.

2.The content of this container is building materials.

I think (2) is also correct because I am referring ,in a general way,to a whole/general idea. That means the "subject matter" , what is inside the container, is building materials.

For me, general concept is sth in general, not concret.

Am I right? Both are correct?

Q
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Content vs contents #7 (permalink) Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:39 am   Content vs contents
 

Hi Quoc
.
For (2) I would probably say contents because you specifically used a plural noun (materials) and because you refer to a physical container designed to hold things.
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