Language tip of the week: news

Posted by on May 03, 2013

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.

This week’s language tip gives advice on the noun news:

Although the word news has an –s on the end, it is an uncountable noun, so:
▪  it is never used in the plural
▪  it does not follow a
✗ She now lives in exile, but the good news are that her words are heard over the world.
✓ She now lives in exile, but the good news is that her words are heard over the world.
✗ For too long we have ignored these news.
✓ For too long we have ignored this news.
✗ In 2007 Hong Kong banned smoking in restaurants. This was a good news for non-smokers.
✓ In 2007 Hong Kong banned smoking in restaurants. This was good news for non-smokers.

Q: How can I refer to a single item of news?
A: You can use news on its own, or say some news or, less frequently, a piece of news.
He was in a meeting when he heard news of the crash.
I’ve got some news that may cheer you up.
I’ve had a surprising piece of news.

More language tips

Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.

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