Hi all GE members and moderators,

Listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are the four important skills in learning English. In my opinion, listening skill is the most the difficult skill of the four.

Is the word "skill" correctly used in the above sentence? Someone tells me that "skill" should be "skills" in this case. I have had a look in some dictionaries and I see that when it comes to a particular skill, the word skill is plural.

If I want to express a singular skill, how should I use the word "skill" correctly?

Many thanks

 

Original Post
tonyck 2 posted:

Listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are the four important skills in learning English. In my opinion, listening skill is the most the difficult skill of the four.

Is the word "skill" correctly used in the above sentence? Someone tells me that "skill" should be "skills" in this case. I have had a look in some dictionaries and I see that when it comes to a particular skill, the word skill is plural.

If I want to express a singular skill, how should I use the word "skill" correctly?

Hi, Tonyck 2,

"skill" can be used as a count noun in the singular.

The problem with your sentence above is the repetition of "skill(s)." I'd say:

- Listening, speaking, reading and writing are the four main skills in learning English. In my opinion, listening is the most difficult (skill) of the four.

tonyck 2 posted:

In my opinion, listening skill is the most the difficult skill of the four.

Hello, Tony,

I agree with Gustavo that your sentence is problematic and like the solution he has suggested. In addition to the revision he has given, you could consider change "listening skill" to "the skill of listening."

  • In my opinion, the skill of listening is the most difficult skill of the four.

In that sentence, "skill" is being used as a count noun in the singular. If you would like to use "skill" as a noncount noun instead, you could use "skill in listening," provided you make some other adjustments.

  • In learning English, it is important to develop skill in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In my opinion, skill in listening takes the most work to develop.

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