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If I have a white chocolate like this on a table. I am sitting at the table and I want to ask my son, who is near me. Whether he wants [article] chocolate or not? Which article is correct?

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Do you want...

some chocolate? (unspecified less than all quantity)

a chocolate? (one piece)

a piece of chocolate?

this piece of chocolate?

this chocolate? (could be all/some/one)

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  • 2
    And, of course, if there is one chocolate sitting on the table, staring my son in the face, I say, "Would you like the chocolate?"
    – Ast Pace
    Jul 14 '16 at 5:21
  • A good coffee or good cofffee?
    – learner
    Nov 6 '16 at 1:16
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Chocolate (and white chocolate) is usually a mass noun, therefore it does not usually work with a. This is the same for other mass nouns such as coffee, beer.

However, if you are talking about a serving of chocolate/coffee/beer, you can use a:

Would you like a white chocolate?

as you can say

Would you like a coffee/beer?

When referring to the single piece on the table, you can also use the:

Would you like the white chocolate?

This can refer to the specific piece on the table. However, in other contexts, it can also refer to the substance white chocolate in general:

Do you want the white chocolate or the dark chocolate?

Note that the usage of the indirect article does not work for all mass nouns. We (at least, I) would not say

??Would you like a cake?

It would have to be:

Would you like a piece of cake?

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  • But we do say "let's bake a cake".. Jul 14 '16 at 4:21
  • 1
    'Cake', like just about any noun, can be used as either a mass noun or a count noun. You can count cakes. But you can also count pieces or slices of cakes. We say don't usually say how many cakes did you eat? but how much cake did you eat? But we say How many cakes did you bake? So it's both mass and count. Jul 14 '16 at 6:38

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