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Cough,cough Options
Joe Kim
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 11:40:15 AM

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Joined: 9/16/2016
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A person coughed twice. So, the sound was like cough, cough.

1. That was a cough
2. That was coughs
3. That was cough.

Which correctly describes the situation?
palapaguy
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 11:51:43 AM

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Joined: 10/28/2013
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Location: Calabasas, California, United States
Joe Kim wrote:
A person coughed twice. So, the sound was like cough, cough.

1. That was a cough
2. That was coughs
3. That was cough.

Which correctly describes the situation?


1. That was a cough.
2. Those were coughs.
3. That was coughing.

Some people will disagree on whether "cough" is countable or uncountable (the difference between #1 and #2).
Romany
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 12:46:51 PM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,401
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

It absolutely impossible to say which describes any particular situation unless the sentences are in some sort of context.

However, you can rule out 3.)because in no context is it grammatically sound. As Palapaguy amended, in some contexts when we aren't using a determiner, we'd use "coughing" which would mean more than one (singular) but could be as few as your "cough, cough".
Joe Kim
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 7:38:25 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2016
Posts: 519
Neurons: 2,665
Thanks.

I don't quite get the talks above.
Audiendus
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 7:57:59 PM
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Joined: 8/24/2011
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Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Joe Kim wrote:
I don't quite get the talks above.

If a person coughed twice, either of the following sentences is correct:

Those were coughs.
That was coughing.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, June 10, 2018 11:18:29 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,568
Neurons: 50,771
Joe Kim wrote:
A person coughed twice. So, the sound was like cough, cough.

1. That was a cough
2. That was coughs
3. That was cough.

Which correctly describes the situation?


None of them.
You would say, "Those were coughs" to indicate two coughs by the person who coughed.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
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