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work or works

English translation: either

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11:50 Feb 4, 2012
English to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law: Contract(s)
English term or phrase: work or works
The question is:

- "procurement of goods, works, services" (360,000 Google hits)
- "goods, works, services" (3,870,000 hits)

or

- "procurement of goods, work, services" (7 hits)
- " goods, work, services" (62,700 hits) ?


'work' is an uncountable noun, similar to water, i.e., we cannot say "I have a lot of works".

According to http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/work_4... there are some exceptions:
1) [countable/uncountable] something produced by a writer, painter, musician, or other artist
2) [uncountable/plural] the repairing and building of something.

But I see, e.g.:

> The Standard Bidding Document for Procurement of Small Works is based on... (plural, countable)
http://web.worldbank.org/

So, what should I use in procurement contracts: Work (uncountable) or Works (countable), and why?

Thanks!
Igor Kreknin
Local time: 20:35
English translation:either
Explanation:
"works"is very common in this type of context but "work" is ok too

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 mins (2012-02-04 11:57:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

normally "work" is general whereas "works" (which is perfectly acceptable) is more specific (particular projects, etc.) so feel free to select the option that best fits your context
Selected response from:

David Hollywood
Local time: 14:35
Grading comment
Thanks a lot!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +1either
David Hollywood
4 +2works
B D Finch
3 +1Either, depending on context.
Jack Doughty


Discussion entries: 8





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
either


Explanation:
"works"is very common in this type of context but "work" is ok too

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 mins (2012-02-04 11:57:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

normally "work" is general whereas "works" (which is perfectly acceptable) is more specific (particular projects, etc.) so feel free to select the option that best fits your context

David Hollywood
Local time: 14:35
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 39
Grading comment
Thanks a lot!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Paul Lambert
32 mins
  -> thanks Paul :)
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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Either, depending on context.


Explanation:
I would say it depends on what it specifies in the contract. If the work consists of individual separate jobs, I would use works. If it is just work in general under the contract, I would use work. I realise that it still might not be clear in some contracts which should be used, so I'm sorry I can't give you a more precise answer.

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:35
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 112

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger
1 hr
  -> Thank you.
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49 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
works


Explanation:
Though you have not posted sufficient context to be sure, if this is about procurement of construction or manufacture, it is correct to use "works" as the word covers not just labour, but what is produced by it. On the other hand, if the meaning is restricted to work in the sense of 'labour', it would be more sensible to remove the ambiguity by using the word 'labour'.

B D Finch
France
Local time: 19:35
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Stephanie Ezrol: the world bank use, and probably other such appear to be talking about works as projects
1 hr
  -> Thanks Stephanie. Perhaps you could give examples, because they seem to me to use the term in the ordinary, bog-standard manner.

agree  Batjavkhaa Batsaikhan
21 hrs
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