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Is infestation countable?



 
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Is infestation countable? #1 (permalink) Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:09 am   Is infestation countable?
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #885 "Bedbugs!", question 9

In the past few years, bedbug ......... have dramatically increased, equalling what was previously known to exist in the 16th century.

(a) colonizations
(b) existences
(c) infestations
(d) imagination

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #885 "Bedbugs!", answer 9

In the past few years, bedbug infestations have dramatically increased, equalling what was previously known to exist in the 16th century.

Correct answer: (c) infestations
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Hi,

My question regarding this sentence is why the word 'infestation' can be used in plural. I think it is an uncountable noun...

Thank you very much.
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Is infestation countable? #2 (permalink) Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:18 am   Is infestation countable?
 

'Infestation' can be used as either a countable or a non-count noun.
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Is infestation countable? #3 (permalink) Tue Nov 09, 2010 13:16 pm   Is infestation countable?
 

But how? What does it mean when it is used as a countable noun? It's not even a mass noun...
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Is infestation countable? #4 (permalink) Tue Nov 09, 2010 13:37 pm   Is infestation countable?
 

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Hi,

'Infestation' can easily be used in the plural. We can talk of an infestation of rats or an infestation of mice and when we refer to them both, they are infestations, aren't they?

Alan
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