I work with HR executives in some of the biggest companies in the world and even they make this mistake....
“We have a lot of trainings on offer.”
Have you ever said this?
If you have, PLEASE STOP NOW!
There is a problem with this sentence. It’s a common mistake.
What you should say is: “We have a lot of training courses on offer.”
The reason is training is a noun you can't count.
When you're using a noun that you can’t count you can’t express it by simply adding ‘s’.
(So also stop saying datas, informations, furnitures, paperworks, advices).
Here are two examples of how you should express it in the plural.
“We have a lot of training to do.”
This communicates the idea of training in a large amount BUT it doesn’t communicate a lot of different classes or courses.
It means there is a large amount to do. It could mean in just one topic. E.g. “We have a lot of IT training to do.”
“We have a lot of training courses to do.”
If you want to explain that you have a lot of different training courses e.g. IT training, management training and soft skills development training etc – you have to add the word ‘courses’.
E.g. “We have a lot of training courses to do.”
SOME GOOD ADVICE
The easy way to use uncountable nouns in the plural is to put the noun into a container or something that divides it!
Try using these words:
Piece, slice, year, cup, bottle, type, course, glass, file.
Here are some uncountable nouns:
Water, coffee, furniture, training, pizza
Here they are divided up:
A glass of water/three glasses of water.
A cup of coffee/three cups of coffee.
A piece of furniture/three pieces of furniture.
A training course/five training courses.
A slice of pizza/four slices of pizza.
Notice that ‘a’ means one.
When we want to talk about an unspecified amount of a noun that is uncountable we use these words.
Some, a bit of, a lot of
E.g. I have a bit of money.”
Here are some examples of uncountable nouns you use in the office and how to use them in the plural.
Paperwork - “I have a lot of paperwork to do.”
“I have a couple of bits of paperwork to do before I leave.”
Assistance – “I need some assistance with my project.”
“I offer customers three types of assistance.”
Advice - “I have some advice for you.”
“John gave us five pieces of very useful advice today.”
Advertising - “We need to do some advertising.”
“We have planned three advertising campaigns.”
Data - “I have some useful data on that”
“I have five files of data.”
Education - “I have had some education in the history of art.”
“I have had five years of education in the history of art.”
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