Ok, this website said:

You must put an article in front of a singular count noun.

But we got this example in this dictionary,

Ex: we're going by car

According to the above law, a singular count noun can not stand alone , but we can say "cars" (plural count noun without article) to express "any car or all cars".

My question is:

is "I go to work by cars" wrong? or is it ok to say like that?


is "I go to work by car" idiomatic? (though it looks like wrong grammar)

  • 1
    In I go to work by car, "car" is a non-count noun, so no determiner is required – BillJ Nov 27 '16 at 10:44
  • @BillJ, which dictionary says "car" is uncount noun? – Tom Nov 27 '16 at 10:46
  • You have to consider how the noun is being used. In I borrowed a car, "car" is a count noun, but in I'm going by car, it is non-count. There are many nouns in English that can be both count and non-count. – BillJ Nov 27 '16 at 11:04
  • @BillJ I haven't found car as uncountable noun in any context – user178049 Nov 27 '16 at 11:33
  • 1
    user178049 It refers to a means of transport, not a specific countable object. See mike's answer. – BillJ Nov 27 '16 at 12:08

When we say "I go to work by car", we are referring to 'car' as a mode of transport, rather than a subset of vehicles. As a single mode of transport, we use the singular form of the word car.

On a related note, modes of transport (by bus, by train, by car, by plane, by bicycle) don’t have an article. Which is why we don't say "I go to work by the car."

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