which one is correct? I don't like egg? or I don't like eggs?

After "don't like" we should use singular or plural form.

  • 3
    The question doesn't just hinge on what follows 'don't like'; both 'I don't like broccoli' and 'I don't like chips' are totally acceptable. It hinges on whether one should use a mass noun usage (I don't like spinach) or a count noun usage (I don't like apples) here. And, unless one has a fear of the actual objects, either is fine here. // Note that 'egg' in 'I don't like egg' is a mass noun usage, not a singular noun usage. The mass noun looks like the singular noun (I'd like an egg). – Edwin Ashworth Oct 31 '15 at 9:41

Which one is correct? I don't like egg? or I don't like eggs?

They are both correct.


1. John reads the list of ingredients printed on the packet of a frozen meal in a supermarket.

"This one contains egg. I don't like egg; it upsets my stomach."

John is referring to the substance 'egg'.


Some children find a basket that has a cloth cover on it.

"Mary, have a look and see what is in that basket."
Mary lifts the cloth and looks inside.
"It's full of eggs. I don't like eggs. They look like little fat people that might jump out at me."

Note: See Edwin Ashworth's comment for a more technical explanation. Here is a technical discussion of the term mass noun.

In linguistics, a mass noun, uncountable noun, or non-count noun is a noun with the syntactic property that any quantity of it is treated as an undifferentiated unit, rather than as something with discrete subsets. Non-count nouns are distinguished from count nouns.

  • Do all vegetable and fruits have both countable and uncountable (mass noun) meaning? what about "computer"? can I say "I don't like computer?" why not? – Ahmad Nov 1 '15 at 16:55
  • I think that the great majority have both forms. I'm sure there will be exceptions, for example 'rice' has only the uncountable form and beans are usually only countable. Probably all large fruit and veg have both, e.g. 'I like pomegranate' and 'I like pomegranates'. It wouldn't work for computers unless the computer was ground up and put into food as an ingredient! – chasly - supports Monica Nov 1 '15 at 17:58

Actually, to be more sensible, I would suggest you to use "I don't like eggs" rather than "I don't like egg"... reason being they are collectively spoken. You will always refer to entire not just one in specific. If you say I don't like egg... you are actually referring to only one...in particular...however, if you say I don't like eggs, it is understood that you are referring to eggs in general.

  • Thanks for joining us at ELL. Your answers will be more helpful if you use terms such as mass noun and examples to explain your response. Also, remember to check your spelling. See the answer above for an example of a useful answer, and we hope you ask some questions yourself! – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 3 '16 at 22:40