I read a book which states:

"Inheritence, age, gender, infectious agents, or behaviours, can all cause disease."

Why is there not an article before "disease" in this case even though it's a countable noun?

1 Answer 1


Disease can be both countable and uncountable.

In your sentence it is uncountable because it means illness as the state of being ill, not a particular disease of the body or mind.


  • Chickenpox is a very common disease among children. (this sentence is about a specific disease, one of many infectious diseases)
  • Starvation and disease have killed thousands of refugees. (in this case disease is uncountable as it means the concept of lack of good health)

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