Archive for July 20, 2010

grammatical word: count


Today I’d like to go over another common verb which has more than one meaning. When people think of the verb “count” they imagine counting numbers. However, this verb has other meanings which many people don’t realize.

1. to consider something or someone to be a certain way. For example:

I count Victor as one of my best friends in the world.

Many people count brussel sprouts as being one of the worst vegetables in the world.

2. for something to be considered part of a general rule or category. For example:

I think it’s wrong to kill but, in my opinion, killing insects doesn’t count.

A: You said every man had to wear a tie at the office, but that man over there isn’t wearing one.

B: Well, he doesn’t count. He’s the boss.

3. to be considered valid. For example:

The other soccer team scored a goal, but it didn’t count because the ball went in after the whistle was blown.

A: I’ll teach you how to play this game. Then we’ll play three games to see who the best player is.

B: Ok, but the first game doesn’t count because I’m still learning how to play.

4. for something or someone to matter or be important. For example:

Lately at my office, I feel like my opinions don’t count with my boss. He doesn’t seem to appreciate anything I say.

In an election, I think every vote counts.

Among these definitions, the first one is a little bit formal. If you want to sound slightly less formal, you can use the word “consider” instead. The other three definitions are quite commonly used, especially the second and third ones. As you can see, with these definitions, the verb “count” is often used in the negative.

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