An experience is something that happens. This word can be used as either a count noun or a noncount noun. It’s necessary to know the difference between them.

In the first set of examples, "experience" is a noncount noun that refers to knowledge gained from activity that occurred over a period of time:

  • How much experience do you have?
  • Was living in Europe a good experience?
  • Abel has a lot of experience as a musician.
  • Cynthia has military experience.

In these sentences and questions, the word "experience" is a count noun. It’s similar to the word "situation."

  • Bob and Lauren had an interesting experience when they visited Africa.
  • Matt had some bad experiences at the dentist when he was a boy.
  • Several good experiences as a student led Jennifer into the teaching profession.
  • This has been a long and tiring experience.

The "word" experience is also a regular verb:

simplepastpast participle
  • The passengers experienced a little turbulence during the flight.
  • The patient said she has been experiencing some pain in her stomach.
  • We’re experiencing some problems with our satellite.
  • Travelers on the highway were warned that they might experience some delays due to road construction.

You can use "experienced" as an adjective:

  • She’s a very experienced dentist.
  • He’s experienced as an actor.
  • They said that the person doing the work is very experienced.
  • An experienced negotiator is handling the situation.

*Thanks to Blue Level Chat Room survivors for this suggestion!

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Published April 27, 2013