On Cambridge Dictionary web site under British English tab, there is examples on "paper" word. on of these examples use "papers" word.

"paper" in British English: thin, flat material made from crushed wood or cloth, used for writing, printing, or drawing on.

Example: He rifled through the papers on the desk, but couldn't find the photographs.

Do we use papers (as flat material, not as newspapers) in British English?

When we say: give me the paper. what does this mean in British English? one or more than one?

  • Papers can just mean documents, and this may be the case here. – Mick Jan 29 '17 at 16:02
  • @Mick , thank you, Do we use papers (as flat material, not as newspapers) in British English? – Shannak Jan 30 '17 at 18:13
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    Paper is the mass noun. Papers means a collection of documents such as letters, invoices, stuff you have written yourself, etc. Paperwork is another term for this, although it means documents that have to be dealt with in some way. – Mick Jan 30 '17 at 19:51
  • Note that paper is a substance. – Francis Davey Apr 17 '17 at 22:22

Paper can be used as both a singular and collective noun.

Therefore, paper can refer to both a single sheet of paper as well as multiple sheets of paper.

Papers emphasizes multiple sheets of paper. It makes clear that the person wishes to be handed multiple sheets of paper, often ones that are meant to be together.

When speaking of a newspaper, you would simply use paper.

  • usually papers: A sheet of paper with something written or printed – Shannak Jan 30 '17 at 18:07
  • It's not a separate word. It's just the plural form of paper. – Curtis White Jan 30 '17 at 18:08
  • Can you give me an example from British English source that use "papers" (as flat material), please? – Shannak Jan 30 '17 at 18:12

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