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Hello admin,

I wonder which phrase I can use to describe different views of people on something.

For example: Some people think that playing video games is bad for children. Others, however, believe that it is good for children to do so.

Which one is more accurate and natural in writing to rephrase?

1. Opinion is divided as to whether playing video games is good or bad for children.

2. Opinions are divided as to whether playing video games is good or bad for children.

Thank you.

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Good evening, Moon,

Both sentences are correct, accurate, and natural. In (1), "opinion" is being used as a noncount noun; in (2), it is being used as a count noun.

The difference is in representation. In (1), opinion is conceptualized as abstract stuff; in (2), opinions are though of as a multiplicity of individuated things.

I personally would use "Opinion is divided" here. This preference of mind is reflected in COCA statistics for that phrase. The O.E.D. also has the phrase:

1. d. Public or general opinion.

1598 J. Marston Scourge of Villanie To Detraction sig. A3v   True iudgement, slight regards Opinion.
1603 J. Florio tr. M. de Montaigne Ess. i. xl. 133  Opinion is a power-full, bold, and vnmeasurable party.
1638 R. Baker tr. J. L. G. de Balzac New Epist. II. 96   It is not now onely that opinion governes the world; there hath beene disputing against Reason in all ages.
1753 J. Hanway Hist. Acct. Brit. Trade Caspian Sea II. xl. 259   Those..who offer incense to this..stupid idol, opinion.
1837 H. Martineau Society in Amer. III. 7   The worship of Opinion is, at this day, the established religion of the United States.
1841 I. D'Israeli Amenities Lit. I. Pref. p. vi   Authors are the creators or the creatures of opinion.
1871 ‘G. Eliot’ Middlemarch (1872) I. vi. 88   There is no part of the county where opinion is narrower than it is here.
1910 Encycl. Brit. I. 429/2  Opinion is divided between Darius Hystaspes and Xerxes.
1946 W. Ivins Art & Geom. iv. 74  Opinion about such a matter could in the most literal, faggot, sense become a burning question.
1996 SFX May 63/1  Opinion is divided straight down the gender lines over whether Frank is right to indulge in a spot of extra-marital.
2002 Evening Standard (Palmerston North, N.Z.) (Nexis) 11 Nov. 3  Opinion is divided on what caused an increase in unemployment during the last economic quarter.
Last edited by David, Moderator

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