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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Uncountable noun 1 OR Uncountable 2 ARE/IS

I have just read the following: These design rules play an important role, and reworking or enhancement of their function represent a possible outcome of ... Why not "represents"? I ...
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31 views

"A bit" and "a little" can only be used in front of an adjective when the adjective is being used after a verb such as be, but if a noun follows

Page 557 of Collins English Usage reads A bit and a little can only be used in front of an adjective when the adjective is being used after a verb such as be, but not with an adjective that is in ...
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2answers
26 views

Is "a very heavy security" correct in English?

Can I say in English "There is a very heavy security around that building" meaning that there are not only many security guards around the building, but there are also some other security-...
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99 views

Can an uncountable noun be an apposition of a countable noun?

Can an uncountable noun be an apposition of a countable noun? For example, A castle, sand, is desturcted. It means a sand castle (a castle made of sand) is destructed.
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1answer
229 views

Can "potion" be uncountable?

I don't understand why all dictionaries say "potion" is countable. That is we can not say "he drank some potion". Normally, a witch boils/makes a pot of potion. And then she just ...
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18 views

use plural verbs or singular verbs with the uncountable noun in this case?

As far as I know, 'spending' is a uncountable noun. In the Cambridge dictionary, it means 'the money that is used for a particular purpose, especially by a government or organization' and is labelled ...
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35 views

Looking for a smartphone that has "good battery backup"? Why not "a good battery backup"?

Looking for a smartphone that has "good battery backup"? Why is it not "a good battery back up"? Why do we have to omit the article? If you are looking for a smartphone with a ...
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1answer
33 views

There's an awareness of conspicuous consumption. Why is the article 'an' needed before awareness when awareness is an uncountable noun?

1.There's an awareness of conspicuous consumption. Why is the article "an" needed before awareness when awareness is an uncountable noun? Greenpeace works to promote awareness of the dangers ...
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1answer
18 views

Uncountability of “watermelon” and “pineapple”

I noticed that “watermelon” and “pineapple” are used as uncountable when the flesh of them is focused. Likewise, “strawberry” can be used as uncountable when strawberries are chopped or something?
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23 views

Many colours and much colour

Many colours mean many types of colour, and much colour means a large quantity of colour, is it right? Colourful - Having much or varied colour https://www.lexico.com/definition/colourful
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36 views

They have to have a basic understanding of computers in order to use advanced technology.how is understanding countable here?Why the article 'a' used?

1.They have to have a basic understanding of computers in order to use advanced technology. 2.Yet in the long run would a wider sense of mutual understanding make us safer? In both cases 'a' is used ...
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48 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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38 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
35 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
17 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
31 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
20 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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45 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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43 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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30 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
48 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
225 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
56 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
80 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
28 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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37 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
204 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
515 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
78 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
22 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
42 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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50 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
25 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
46 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
78 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
45 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
109 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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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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14 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
29 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
64 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
315 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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1answer
131 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
437 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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