I was so confused with this. So I look up the word 'hurry' in the Oxford dictionary and I found that it is an uncountable noun. Is it possible to use 'a' before 'hurry'?

Why is it possible? Do I need to think this as an idiomatic phrase? I don't just want to memorise this. I want to know the reason why there is 'a'.

  • It's an idiomatic expression, so your only option is memorization. This expression probably covers 90% of the cases where you will use "hurry" as a noun, though
    – Andrew
    Feb 14, 2018 at 5:47

1 Answer 1


The Cambridge Dictionary and Collins Dictionary define it as singular.

I can see why Oxford Dictionary considers it to be a mass noun, because it is not in the plural in negative sentences.

I have no apples - countable, plural
I have no sugar - uncountable, not plural
I am in no hurry - not plural

But simply saying it's always singular explains this, and also explains why it can take a.

  • 1
    So does Collins: hurry #3.
    – user3169
    Feb 14, 2018 at 6:20
  • Thanks, @user3169. I have added that to my answer.
    – JavaLatte
    Feb 14, 2018 at 6:23
  • There are other ways in which "hurry" is used as a mass noun, besides the negative "no hurry". If, for example, you say His attitude was one of hurry and urgency, or Hurry was at the heart of everything she did.
    – WS2
    Dec 19, 2021 at 19:06

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