He gave some lame excuse about missing the bus

A sentence from a dictionary: He gave some lame excuse about missing the bus.

Question: Should I say “some lame excuse” or “some lame excuses”?

Thank you!!

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It depends on what you want to say. If he gave multiple excuses then it would be “he gave some lame excuses.” If he only had one excuse then it would be “he gave some lame excuse.”

I understand your question because we associate the word ‘some’ with an unspecified amount, which is sometimes an uncountable quantity (like milk) but also a countable plural (like cookies). Would you like some milk? Can I have some ice-cream? but also: I want some strawberries. Could I have some cookies?

An excuse is definitely countable, right? You could have five different excuses for the same thing.

However, in this case ‘some’ means ‘one or the other’ and is used to express disapproval or that you don’t believe someone:

He gave one poor excuse or the other about how he managed to miss the bus. The bus ran early or the bus driver drove past his stop. (I don’t care enough to remember what the excuse was.) In any case, I don’t believe him.

a joke: some jokes

He told me some corny turtle joke last night.

He told me one corny joke or the other about turtles last night. (I don’t care enough to remember what the joke was.)

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Brucenator, you really know me well, I mean beginning learners. Thank you so… much.
I really admire you!! You made my day!!

By the way, I like the corny turtle joke. Hahaha!!!

Aw, thanks, lilyyang, you ask good questions.

I hope you enjoyed the corny jokes. My favorite one:
I just wrote a book on reverse psychology. Do not read it!
I can actually hear that joke being told in a comedy club. (By that I mean, I can imagine a comedian actually delivering that joke in a comedy club.)


I told the reverse-psychology joke to my wife when she walked into the room. She laughed. ))

Heel goed!