Is the word "leave" a countable or uncountable noun?

Is this sentence correct? "Paid Leaves include; annual, administrative..."
or should it be: "Paid Leave includes; annual, administrative..."

I've searched the net and couldn't find a comprehensive list of countable/uncountable nouns.

1 Answer
Jun 24, 2016

The correct sentence should be "Paid leave includes. . ."


The word leave in this case is a verb (action) acting as a noun (a person, place, thing, or idea) in the phrase "leave of absence".

In the phrase "paid leave", leave is always singular (conversely, it is never plural). This is because you are talking about a single concept, even if multiple people are on paid leave we never say something like:

They are on paid leaves...

The above statement conjures up the notion that these people are actually riding on leaves (the photosynthetic part of many trees) which are hired to give people rides. It's kind of an outlandish statement that really has not logical or contextual basis (not only is it too ambiguous, leaves have no need for money and people riding on leaves wouldn't have much of a ride [if they're going anywhere at all they're falling]).

As with the case of "paid leave" the word "leave" is actually a verb meaning to "temporarily depart from or abandon". This is because the person on paid leave has actually left their responsibilities but has plans to return to them eventually.

Leaves is almost exclusively reserved as the plural form of photosynthetic plant parts. If you're not in the business of readily describing tree parts however you could use "leaves" in certain grammatical contexts, unfortunately it is more of a dialectical preference (and not widely used or accepted as good grammar). For instance you could say:

"Jane leaves at nine o'clock."

However a better way to convey this same concept, at least in writing, would be to say:

"Jane is preparing to leave, she departs at nine o'clock."

I hope this helps!