My reference book gives me an example as follows:

What loud thunder!

Should it be written as:

What a loud thunder!


This is the entry for thunder from the Cambridge Dictionary:

thunder noun UK ​ /ˈθʌn.dər/ US ​ /ˈθʌn.dɚ/ B1 [U] the sudden loud noise that comes from the sky especially during a storm

Note the U, which indicates that thunder is uncountable. Uncountable nouns don't generally require an indefinite article, unless you are talking about a particular type of whatever it is, for example:

This is a really nice cheese

... meaning this is a really nice type of cheese.

So, with thunder, you would generally omit the indefinite article

What loud thunder!

unless you are referring to a particular kind of thunder, but I can't think of a suitable example of that.

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  • 1
    I might use thunderclap to reference a specific instance of thunder in a thunderstorm. "Wow that was a loud thunderclap" – Smock Jul 2 '19 at 8:41
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    I'd argue the Alps one, you wouldn't have the 'a' in there unless the 'type of' was in there. They have a really loud thunder on its own does not sound right. They have really loud thunder would be more idiomatic – Smock Jul 2 '19 at 8:58
  • 1
    @smock, agreed... I have removed that example. – JavaLatte Jul 3 '19 at 11:35

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