Questions tagged [uncountable-nouns]

For questions about nouns that are viewed as a "mass" or "whole" that cannot be counted or separated. These nouns usually aren't used in the plural, with the indefinite article ("a" or "an"), or with numbers.

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1answer
34 views

How can a noun be countable and uncountable at the same time?

How can a noun be countable and uncountable at the same time? For example 'shock'. You can get a shock. I'm suffering from __ shock.
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1answer
37 views

'at very high altitude', 'at very high altitudes': both are okay in this sentence?

I'd like to know and ask whether both the sentences below are correct. At very high altitude you will have difficulty breathing. At very high altitudes you will have difficulty breathing. My ...
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1answer
24 views

Is it OK to say “I drink much water”?

There was a question like this: Which alternatives are correct? Sometimes only one alternative is correct, and sometimes two alternatives are possible. I drink ___ water every day. A much B a lot ...
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1answer
16 views

Society: countable, uncountable, or both in this particular case?

Could you please help with the following: are both options correct? If so, which one is preferred and why? Option 1: Our society had been gradually morphing from a very uncivilised one to the society ...
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2answers
22 views

Using “the” before a non countable nouns

The decomposition of microscopic animals at the bottom of the sea results in an accumulation of .... in porous rocks. the oil / oil Which one is correct and why? I know when we are talking about a ...
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1answer
19 views

Can we use 'one' after uncountable nouns?

For example, is it possible to say the following: 'Music degraded from a very good one to a bad one' If not, what's the natural way to say it? Many thanks!
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2answers
37 views

Why is there a definite article before “rain”?

Villagers are now waiting for the rain to come so that the rice will grow. Why is it the rain in this sentence, not rain without the definite article? We are talking about rain in general to come, ...
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1answer
38 views

noun phrase or not subsumed into the word snow

Do you say (1) "There was three feet of snow" or (2) "There were three feet of snow" when referencing the amount of snow and NOT three-feet made of snow! I.e. is the phrase "...
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1answer
29 views

Is “in fiction” right?

It is all very well for such things to occur in fiction. Why not use in fictions?
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1answer
47 views

Use of indefinite article with non countable nouns [closed]

As per the article rule, we should not use an indefinite article before the non countable nouns. But following are the examples of the indefinite articles with non countable nouns. Day 3 has been a ...
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1answer
28 views

Deviation from the dictionary meaning of “fall about” and unreasonable plural form of water

So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her, rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. (From O Henry's The Gift of the Magi) The phrasal verb "fell about" means "to laugh ...
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3answers
219 views

“legal protection” vs “legal protections”

The following is an example from the Cambridge dictionary: The proposed law is intended to provide legal protections for farm workers. What would be the difference between "protection" and ...
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3answers
54 views

“LegislationS” to indicate the laws (for the same subject matter) established by different provincial or state governments

I know that "legislation" is almost always used in its uncountable form. legislation: a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament But what about in the ...
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1answer
32 views

Indefinite article with non-count noun

Can anybody explain to me the use of the indefinite article in the following sentences: She had a great zest for life. The danger of being caught added a certain zest to the affair. "Zest" ...
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3answers
63 views

The building was destroyed by (a) fire

The building was destroyed by a fire. The building was destroyed by fire. I have almost always used “fire” as an uncountable noun. What’s the difference between the two sentences? Which example is a ...
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1answer
27 views

Why don't we use the definite article in “you have the experience of…”?

Consider these examples: Do you have the experience of working with kids? Do you have experience of working with kids? From what I have learned, we can use "the" with uncountable nouns ...
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1answer
33 views

Could you please suggest the correct article usage here?

In the following sentence, do I need an article before "external influence"? The juvenile being more vulnerable to (an?) external influence such as numerous marketing campaigns tend to be ...
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1answer
37 views

Uncountable Nouns vs. Plural Nouns

Meals are a time for human connection. Meals are a time for human connections. What’s the difference between these two sentences? To me both seem to have the same meaning, and I am unable to figure ...
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3answers
102 views

Uncountable and plural nouns: “space”

Is this sentence true: there isn't any more space in my suitcase. In this case can we use space in plural or it remains as a singular form.
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3answers
255 views

The word “exercise” as an uncountable noun [duplicate]

Swimming is good exercise. Swimming is a good exercise. I checked all the major dictionaries and they say that it is uncountable when it means (physical or mental activity that you do to stay healthy ...
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1answer
73 views

Should I place an article before “20/20 vision”?

Having (a) 20/20 vision is the desirable condition of the eye. If you have (a) 20/20 vision you don't need glasses. (A) 20/20 vision is required for certain job positions. Is the article "a"...
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1answer
21 views

Why isn't the “a” article added before the phrase “slightly different terminology”?

I would like to know why the "a" article hasn't been added before the phrase "slightly different terminology" in this paragraph: So, you can create exactly the Employee — Manager ...
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1answer
31 views

“Great advancement” vs. “Great advancements”

I have seen great advancement in technology in recent times. I have seen great advancements in technology in recent times. What is the difference between #1, and #2? To me, both seem to mean “...
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1answer
43 views

When to use “tomato” and when to use “toma­toes”?

In my sci­en­tific ar­ti­cle manuscript, I used tomato to re­fer to the plant in gen­eral. But af­ter I sent the manuscript to the El­se­vier English Cor­rec­tion Ser­vice, they changed all tomato ...
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1answer
19 views

“is proven” or “are proven” in this sentence?

This is my version: Metallo-organic anti-wear additive system in Havoline ProDS Fully Synthetic ECO 5and ProDS Fully Synthetic LE SAE 5W-40 is proven to protect engines under a broad range of ...
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2answers
36 views

Use of “Much”, “Many” and “More” in English

In the example below, I used more and much both but I can't understand the proper use-case for more, much, and many. Sometimes, it confuses that in which scenario which one is a perfect match for it. ...
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1answer
62 views

Noun both countable and uncountable

For example, gas is countable and uncountable. Then, can 'much gas' always be translated into 'many gases'? Oh, look at that! there's a cloud of many gases!
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1answer
39 views

“Dogs are a type of animal”

I have two questions. (1) I know that we should say "Dogs are a type of animal". I wonder why we don't say "Dogs are a type of an animal"? For some reason, we have no article ...
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8answers
2k views

Is it 'oils' or 'oil'?

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 ...
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2answers
96 views

How do native speakers distinguish countable nouns from uncountable nouns?

As an English learner (I'm Chinese), I've always been confused by the concept of countable and uncountable nouns. For example, I understand why "water" is uncountable, but why is “paper” ...
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1answer
22 views

Which one sounds the best?

1 Do you have any cough syrup? 2 Do you have any cough syrups? 3 Do you have cough syrup? 4 Do you have cough syrups?
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0answers
13 views

“We need to protect (environment / the environment) from pollution”

We need to protect (environment / the environment) from pollution I have confusion in above question. Should I use 'the' or not?
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1answer
27 views

“shorthand” - uncountable or not?

Cambridge dictionary lists "shorthand" as an uncountable word. (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/shorthand) However, I see a lot of its usage with the indefinite article. ...
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1answer
48 views

Sweat [Countable / Uncountable]

I was wondering if the indefinite article "a" is necessary in the following sentences, whereas the noun "sweat" in an uncountable word. I broke out in a cold sweat from pain. I ...
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1answer
18 views

why is it right to say “a… professionalism”?

As jeans-lovers have entered the corporate world they have popularized a casual work look, wearing Jeans as the basic wardrobe ___ laid-back but actually ambitious new professionalism. (From an ...
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3answers
238 views

Which pronoun should I use after “lots of paper”? (“it” v “them”)

Does this sentence sound grammatically correct? He used lots of paper and cut them into different sizes. Or should I use it instead?
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1answer
2k views

Is sky a countable noun or an uncountable noun? [duplicate]

Is "sky" a countable noun or an uncountable noun? We can count the sky as it is only one, but it's that people refer to as it being uncountable.
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0answers
28 views

noun, struggle(countable), survival(mass)

generally "survival" is uncountable, however "struggle" is countable. In my guess and definitions in dictionaries "survival" is a state and continuing sense. struggle is ...
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1answer
89 views

A single line of 'code' or 'codes'?

What and why should I use, a single line of 'code' or 'codes'? Example sentence: Today we don't need to write a single line of codes to do anything
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3answers
228 views

Do we have to use singular nouns after “plenty of”?

In the following sentence from Interchange 2 Teacher's book page T-226: They have plenty of room and I'm sure they'll be happy to have guests. I think the word room does not refer to space and it is ...
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5answers
7k views

Why is “science” in “Bachelor of Science” singular, whereas “arts” in “Bachelor of Arts” is plural?

In the following degrees — "Bachelor of Science" and "Master of Science" — "science" is an uncountable or singular noun. In contrast, in "Bachelor of Arts" and ...
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1answer
37 views

An uncountable noun can be counted when the context is clear?

Questions: (a) In a clear context, especially when telling the listener that there are types or versions of it, any uncountable noun can actually be counted, no matter what the uncountable noun is, ...
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2answers
392 views

Equipment or equipments? [closed]

I am having a conversation with some international learners of English. I am assuming that the term equipment is singular and plural. A chat friend insists that the term equipments is the appropriate ...
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1answer
44 views
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34 views
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67 views

I am leaving town for a few days. can I use definite article ’the’ before the uncountable noun ’town’ here

Here the town is an uncountable noun When referred to work place or place where I live and don’t use an article.But in the conversation if I had mentioned the word town or spoke about it already,...
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1answer
47 views

We are hoping for ‘mutual divorce’ or ‘a/the mutual divorce’. Is divorce here countable or uncountable?

How to recognise uncountable nouns.? When should we avoid using articles especially before the nouns that act as both countable and uncountable nouns?
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1answer
51 views

Should I use an article in “extract text from document” phrases?

I am writing an article about the extraction of an entire text from a document. I am not sure if I should use "a", "the", or nothing in "extract text" phrases. Sample sentences: "How to extract text ...
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1answer
53 views

Can I say “this water” or “that furniture”? [closed]

Can I say "this water" or "that furniture" ? If I can, what does it mean?
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1answer
259 views

Can we say “He is a scum”?

According to dictionaries, "scum" can be used in countable or uncountable sense; but "He is a scum" sounds wrong to my ears. Can the sentences "He is a scum" and "He is scum" be used interchangeably?

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