I am confused as to when to use 'rest' and 'a rest' in a sentence. I want to know the precise context when the article "a" is used before 'rest'.

Example 1:

I need rest

Example 2:

I need a rest.

Do the above two sentences mean the same thing?

Thanks Shreejaya

  • 1
    Hi! The community is usually quite happy to help answer questions that are specific enough to answer within a few paragraphs, though we like to see what you've already found, to cut down on unnecessary work and to understand where your question is coming from. You've given us very little to work with in this question. Can you please edit your question to insert some context, or to note what you've found so far on this topic?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


"A rest" indicates an identified action (resting) with a defined time period. To "need rest" indicates the desire for a particular type of action. Not the greatest analogy, but "I need a (cup of) sugar" vs. "I need (don't have any) sugar."

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