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I'm wondering which one of these expressions is correct?

This stuff or these stuff?

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closed as general reference by RegDwigнt Oct 18 '12 at 12:55

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This question might be a better fit for our proposed sister site for English language learners. Please support it. Thank you. – RegDwigнt Aug 19 '12 at 17:53
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Stuff is a collective noun — it represents a group of objects. Just as one would say "this group" or "this pile," one would say "this stuff".

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This isn't quite a correct comparison; "stuff" is an uncountable noun (has no plural), while "pile" and "group" are both countable (have plurals). In other words, "stuff" refers to a quantity, while "pile" and "group" refer to things. Ex-user's answer is correct. – Will Vousden Feb 5 '11 at 0:25

Stuff is an uncountable, uncount, or mass noun so "this stuff" is correct.

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Stuff has a similar problem to the words content and land. they are already plural but we sometimes want to treat them as singular. E.g

Alf sold some stuff at auction.

Ben also sold some stuff.

Charlie also sold some stuff.

Dan didnt sell all his stuff.

We wish to say "3 out of 4 loads of stuff were sold at auction". Here the prefix "loads of" converts stuff to a singular collective noun phrase. "plot of" works for land. Not sure what works for "content". Some words (usually animals) already have collective nouns. E.g if stuff was sheep then we can say that "3 out of 4 flocks were sold at auction".

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Stuff is a mass or uncountable noun. It is not already plural. – Matt E. Эллен Aug 20 '12 at 9:15

In your expressions, stuff is a noun and is uncountable. I would say it is "this stuff".

The only time I can think of stuff being plural is when it is a verb—as in he stuffs the turkey with ….

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To be pedantic, the "stuffs" in your example is not a plural, it ends in "s". – FordBuchanan Aug 18 '10 at 13:03
-1 "stuffs" as a verb is not plural – cori Aug 18 '10 at 13:12

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