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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Feb 6th, 2007, 04:11 am
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Default computer class or computers class

Which would you use.

1. I have _______ class 4th period.
a. computer
b. computers
c. (something else)

2. After lunch, I have science and then ________ .
a. computer
b. computers
c. (something else)

My native edge is failing me here. Also, I never took a computer(s) course in school.
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Unread Feb 6th, 2007, 04:13 am
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Default Re: computer class or computers class

#1 - computer
#2 - computer class (maybe computers)
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Unread Feb 6th, 2007, 05:15 am
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Default Re: computer class or computers class

yep, I'm with Eric.
The first is a compound noun. The first noun is always singular eg bus stop, book shelf, football boots, NOT buses stop, books shelf, footballs boots.

The second I'd go with computers (or even I.T. - Information Technology. I seem to hear this a lot these days.)
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Unread Feb 6th, 2007, 06:26 am
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Default Re: computer class or computers class

1A : it's a compound noun with the first noun acting adjectivally - and adjectives are never plural in English. Another example - a horse race. You'd never say a horses race.

But 2B : as the subject it would be the main noun. Computer can't be used uncountably (as for example science as in I have science this afternoon) and so would have to be plural -though I can't for the life of me think of another example. Academic subjects are nearly always uncountable.

Actually, though, would you say it at all? It sounds odd to me. I'd say I have ICT(Information and Communications Technology)
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Unread Feb 6th, 2007, 06:46 am
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Default Re: computer class or computers class

I've been teaching it to young children as a subject in primary school. I've been using flashcards that use textbooks to teach the subjects, but i'm beginning to question the term. Also after you say it enough time several ways, they all start to sound strange.

So if you had a course book and it was for a computer class. It represents the school subject. What would you call the subject?

What kind of textbook is it?
math book
English book
_____ book
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Unread Feb 6th, 2007, 08:06 am
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Default Re: computer class or computers class

When my son was in primary school it was definitely called CT. Now he's moved up to middle school it's become ICT. So I'd say a CT textbook or ICT textbook. The initials are used as the subject name much as in PE or RE or PSHE

If you really want to stick with the word computer then I'd go for a computers textbook - which completely contradicts everything I said above about having to say computer class because its a compound noun blah blah

I give up .....
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Unread Feb 6th, 2007, 05:25 pm
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Default Re: computer class or computers class

Well, that's good to know. I've been teaching computers but I guess I should change over to IT or ICT.

Which do people think is more common or appropriate?
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Unread Feb 7th, 2007, 03:50 am
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Default Re: computer class or computers class

A game room or a games room? for "salle de jeux"
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Unread Feb 7th, 2007, 07:50 am
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Default Re: computer class or computers class

Games. I've searched the internet and gone through my favourite book on language - Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct - and I still can't find the answer. Pinker says (p46 of the Penguin version) :

"compounds can be formed out of irregular plurals but not regular plurals. For example, a house infested by mice can be described as mice-infested but it sounds awkward to describe a house infested by rats as rats-infested. We say that it is rat-infested even though by definition one rat does not make an infestation".

But that is contradicted by the computers textbook or the games room. And there are plenty of examples of nouns with irregular plurals which still use the singular in compounds :toothbrush, footpath, man-eater, woman hater, child molester

All my other grammar books are in my office. I'll check this afternoon and come back if I find out anything more.
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