In this sentence, is oil allowed (mass noun) or should it be oils?
Hurry and get your hands on any of our premium Shell engine oil/oils and get a free cleaner at a great price!
(This sentence would accompany a picture showing the engine oils.)
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Oil is a mass noun, and so does not normally take a plural
Like most mass nouns though, the plural form "oils" can be used to refer to multiple distinct varieties
In this case, the use of "any" suggests that you should choose from a selection of different types of oil, and so "oils" is most appropriate. If the singular "oil" is used, it should say "some of our premium Shell engine oil" instead
Mass nouns in English are a bit tricky. A significant percentage of English nouns can be either countable (regular nouns) or uncountable (mass nouns) depending on context. For a vast majority of these nouns though, the meaning associated with the uncountable form can also be used with the plural of the countable form to refer to types or varieties of the item referred to by the uncountable form.
‘paper’ is a good example of this. In the normal countable form it refers to specific instances of paper (or papers, in the same sense as an academic treatise or a newspaper). In the uncountable form though, it refers to the material in bulk, and you can then use the countable plural form to refer to multiple varieties of paper with a single noun.
‘oil’ works roughly the same. In this case, they’re obviously referring to different types engine oil (more concretely in context, different formulations or blends of the various components of engine oil), so the correct form is ‘oils’.
In this case "oils" is correct because they are referring to different types of engine oil (different weights and viscosities like 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40, synthetic, blended, etc.).
Similar with cooking oil - you have different types like vegetable oil, olive oil, corn oil, coconut oil.
So if you're describing a quantity of oil by volume or weight, use the singular - "a quart of oil" or "a barrel of oil" or "50 lbs of oil", even if it's a blend of different types of oil.
If you're describing more than one type of oil, use the plural - "a variety of cooking oils", "different engine oils", etc.
"Oil" is a mass noun, so the singular form is appropriate. While answers are supposed to stand on their own, I think that there are arguments in other answers that should be addressed:
In this case, the use of "any" suggests that you should choose from a selection of different types of oil
It is perfectly reasonable to use "any" to refer to a single type of a mass noun. "If you drink any of my milk, you should go to the store and buy more" doesn't suggest more than one type of milk.
If a variety of types of oil are shown, the plural fits better.
No, just having different varieties is not sufficient to justify the plural. The focus is on their supply of oil as a whole. The plural is appropriate when the focus is on the different types of oil. For instance "Most oils are less dense than water." If a gas station has 500 L of premium gasoline and 400 L of regular, they have 900 L of gasoline, not 900 L of gasolines.
With a picture showing the engine oils.
I think you've answered your own question! Oils is an ellipsis of types of oil, variety of oil, etc. Any mass noun can become plural in this way. Without the plural, it seems to be a quantity of a single type of oil, although singular oil could also be interpreted as different types of oil.
We have three types of milk: cow, goat, and yak. Taste the milks to see how they differ.
Both the singular and plural are acceptable, although the plural reduces the ambiguity of the singular.
The answer is given by Shell
Shell make a variety of oils.