How do you I refer to different kind of an uncountable noun? For example, this is a part of my writing:

Using oil (coconut oil, olive oil) to moisturize your skin after bath. Those oil...

I want to explicitly refer to two kinds of oil to avoid other oil like engine oil mistakenly. Does those suit here? Are they countable? I think it's yes (look, I use they and them to refer to them in this sentence and the previous one). However, isn't that after using those, we should use the plural form of the noun? In that case, oils, not oil, should be use, right? And in that case, is oil a countable noun now?

  • Yes, because you are not counting oil, but kinds/types of something which happens to be oil in this example. But you better check your first sentence again - did you mean "use"?
    – Stephie
    Jul 1, 2015 at 5:31
  • @Stephie So I should use those oils, right? I thought to start a sentence with verb there are two options: to verb or verb-ing?
    – Ooker
    Jul 1, 2015 at 5:43
  • 1
    You could start with "using", but then this clause needs continuing, otherwise you are missing the verb: e.g. "(Using oil to moisturize...) is an effective way to...." This clause then becomes the subject of the sentence. - *those oils" is correct.
    – Stephie
    Jul 1, 2015 at 5:50

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can use a plural. In this case, you're no longer talking about oil itself but about two different types/kinds/sorts of oil. With this construction, the noun becomes countable and can be put in the plural.

So, you should say: those oils Be sure not to forget the plural s after oil or your sentence will not be grammatically correct.

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