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General Writing and Grammar Help/usage of the word "gratitude"

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Question
Dear Ted,
I'm not sure if you say you have "gratitude towards someone" or you have "a gratitude towards someone", or if both ways are grammatically correct. In other words, do the following sentences make sense and are they both grammatically correct?
1. I have gratitude towards you.
2. I have a gratitude towards you.
3. I have deep gratitude towards my father.
4. I have a deep gratitude towards my father.

Answer
Dear Glen:

I'm not sure if you say you have "gratitude towards someone" or you have "a gratitude towards someone", or if both ways are grammatically correct. In other words, do the following sentences make sense and are they both grammatically correct?
1. I have gratitude towards you.
2. I have a gratitude towards you.
3. I have deep gratitude towards my father.
4. I have a deep gratitude towards my father.

*** You cannot have "A gratitude." "Gratitude" is the feeling of appreciation that is considered a "non-count noun."  In other words, you can show your gratitude to someone, but you cannot show two gratitudes to that person.

Sentences 2 and 4 are not correct.  You can substitute the adjective, "grateful," in these two sentences:
I am grateful to you.
I am deeply grateful to my father.

*** Glen, I tried to find the plural form [gratitudes] in some dictionaries, in print and online.  I found only ONE reference to the plural word, and it was in an English language forum:

Question: I was wondering why 'happinesses' and 'gratitude' can be made plural. Please explain!

Answer:
Well, it's rare but I've heard both 'gratitudes' and 'happinesses':

Gratitudes of love. (More than one phrase praising love)
Happinesses beyond my dreams. (More than one thing that makes you happy.)

*** Glen, I very much disagree with this contributor's response.  I would use NEITHER happiness NOR gratitude in the plural.

Ted



Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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