Questions about uncountable (non-count, mass) nouns

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3
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1answer
5k views

What is the plural of “stiffness”?

I’m proofreading for a friend (not that I am an expert on English or his subject matter!), and he has used the word stiffnesss in an engineering context. I believed the plural should be stiffnesses, ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Can 'surgery' be a count noun in the sense of 'medical procedure'?

This is something that has bothered me for a long time. Several years ago a remember noticing in the media a shift from using "An operation" to "A surgery" when talking about someone who was ...
3
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2answers
151 views

Question about “criticism” and “critique”

Are criticism and critique mass nouns? If not, what semantic area does their countable usage refer to?
2
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3answers
11k views

Why does “information” not have a plural form?

Why doesn't the word information take an "S" in English even if the meaning is "plural"?
2
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3answers
2k views

Better wording for “Among other [stuff]”

I have the following problem. I need to say Among other information, [the message] will contain information about the following... I don't like the repetition of "information" here. I thought ...
2
votes
2answers
585 views

When can you pluralize uncountable nouns?

I have a two part question, the second depending on the answer of the first. I don't know if that is frowned upon, but I'm not sure how else to ask. Foil is an uncountable noun so it is not ...
2
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5answers
82 views

Is “education” a count noun?

I'm getting confused about these two sentences: The government should provide education to its citizens. She has received a great education since high school. I think education is an ...
2
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9answers
995 views

Use of the word “beeves”

In what sentence would you need to use the plural of beef? The plural is beeves. Plural form of beef (sense 1 of the noun). [OD] I have tried every sentence that it could be necessary but I ...
2
votes
2answers
716 views

Does the sentence “I recycle a paper” make sense?

Could the following sentence make sense? I recycle a paper. It's from one of the school English exam's answers, and we're arguing about giving the whole point or half point. The teachers have ...
2
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2answers
4k views

“It is bad practice …” vs. “It is a bad practice …”

"At work, it is bad practice to go to lunch early." "At work, it is a bad practice to go to lunch early." The noun "practice" is both countable and uncountable. So, could both sentences be ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

“rising sea level” or “rising sea levels”?

I've seen both in newspapers when it comes to the subject of global warming. Confusingly, "rising sea levels" seems to be used more frequently. For me, it's much easier to understand "rising sea ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

One type of good - singular or plural

I've read conflicting advice on the use of the word "goods" in an economic context (e.g. "goods for sale"). One piece of advice is that it is a plural noun that should never be used singular (e.g. ...
2
votes
1answer
255 views

Can I use “any” with singular noun in formal English?

As far I as I remember, "any" and "some" are used with plural nouns or uncountable ones. I know about exceptions for "some" (Wow, some car). But can I say the following and be grammatical: Is ...
2
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0answers
33 views

Less versus fewer in time related phrases [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Less” vs. “fewer” I am quite pedantic when using 'less' versus 'fewer' but don't really understand how the situation works when it comes to ...
2
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2answers
282 views

Confusing sentence, work or works?

Please have a look at this sentence: "Multiple citations of my work during the short time since their publication indicate its quality." Here work is referring to many publications. I have a ...
1
vote
2answers
500 views

Does “every time” not mean “all the time”?

In this article, Singapore Plans To Become The World's First Smart Nation, there is an explanation about the E3A plan by Leonard: We're working on something that we've named E3A, which is our way ...
1
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5answers
322 views

What is the logic behind uncountable nouns?

I'd like to understand the logic behind uncountable nouns, such as "water", "meat" and others, specially "bread", for example. I don't understand why can't we count them, since there are different ...
1
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2answers
1k views

Are frozen pizzas countable or uncountable?

As you know pizzas are countable But when you add another word like, frozen, does it remain countable? Generally, when you add an adjective to a countable word are there any changes?
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3answers
447 views

What is the plural form of “whitespace”?

I ask this because Firefox suggested that whitespaces is not a valid word; rather it gave me whitespace or white spaces.
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3answers
1k views

“The” and superlative of uncountable noun — “the clearest water”?

Uncountable nouns are usually used without an article. Superlatives require definite article. What comes out of these 2 rules when superlative meets uncountable article? We need an example, I hope it ...
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4answers
3k views

The article “a/an” with uncountable nouns

Sometimes I read in books sentences where uncountable nouns are used with the article "a/an". For example "She fades like a dew before the sun". Is it out of the common rules? P.S.: Sorry if this ...
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3answers
205 views

Usage of uncountable nouns [closed]

Which option is correct to use in this sentence and why? I have (much, many, an) orange juice.
1
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3answers
83 views

coffee vs. some coffee

I want coffee. vs. I want some coffee. Does these two sentences completely identical? In general, is it possible to delete the word "some" from every instance of "some coffee", and to keep ...
1
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2answers
1k views

Verb agreement of “heaps”/“lots”: uncountable nouns

I am a non-native English speaker and I recently started noticing that most people do not do the correct agreement of the verb with the noun when saying "there is"/"there was"/"here is". They say, for ...
1
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2answers
66 views

Is “the” needed with the word “code” used in a general programming sense?

Basically, me and my colleagues (not native English speakers) had a discussion on whether we need "the" or not in this sentence: Administrative / system passwords shouldn't be used in the code. ...
1
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4answers
137 views

Pronoun for meat: it or some?

I feel the following sentence does not sound usual: I like meat. Can I eat it tonight? I think it is more common to say: I like meat. Can I eat some tonight? Is my understanding correct? ...
1
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3answers
68 views

Does stuff become countable when enumerated?

Consider a conversation with a sentence: S: "I bought milk and honey." What is a grammatically correct question referring to the sentence S? Q1: "Where did you put it?" or Q2: "Where did you put ...
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2answers
2k views

Definite article in the beginning of a sentence

I'm confused with the usage of the definite article. During the development the following tasks were accomplished: Software with a graphical interface was created; [some other things] ...
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2answers
64 views

Is “myriad” not prevalent in “day to day speech”? [duplicate]

I have noticed people using "myriad" when they mean "uncountable" or simply many. Is "Myriad" not prevalent in "day to day speech Can it be used for definite but large amount of anything.
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2answers
73 views

Does this statement tell how much work was done? [closed]

On a physics test the instructor asked the following question: If you do work on an object in twice the usual time, your power output is? I said that you could not answer the question because I ...
1
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2answers
129 views

Is 'experience' countable or uncountable? [closed]

"Seeing the Grand Canyon was certainly____(an /some) experience." Is experience countable or uncountable? Should I use some or an?
1
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1answer
779 views

“Seems like an overkill” vs. “seems like overkill” [closed]

I’m wondering if an article is used with the word overkill: Something seems like an overkill (to me). Something seems like overkill (to me). Which is grammatical?
1
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1answer
12k views

Can the word “personnel” ever be singular? [closed]

Can personnel be used in reference to a single person? See the example below: Testing must take place by a qualified personnel other than the requestor.
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2answers
5k views

Could you lend me any/a little/../money?

I would like to know how to say that correctly and whether some/any could stand as a subject in the sentence: Could you lend me ... money? Sure, If I find some/any.
1
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1answer
59 views

“All the unemployed” vs “every unemployed”

The right to work implies the obligation on the part of the government to give a job to all the unemployed. Can I replace all the unemployed with every unemployed. If yes then OK, but if not then ...
1
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2answers
114 views

Point[s] of datum vs. point[s] of data

I know that there's no any shortage of controversy about "data" and "datum", but I've recently questioned the validity in the specific case of "I am but a point of data". Is this, under the strict ...
1
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1answer
112 views

Using “pizza” as countable vs. uncountable

I ate pizzas on Sundays. I ate pizza on Sundays. Pizza is both uncountable and countable. In these sentences, is there any difference in meaning? Is one of them wrong?
1
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2answers
149 views

'(death) throes' - countability?

In my Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary the word 'throe' is not listed, only 'throes'. With other nouns, the dictionary clearly indicates whether nouns are countable or uncountable, however, with ...
1
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1answer
281 views

Uncountable noun + of + uncountable noun with or without definite article

It would be much appreciated if you could identify any differences regarding whether using the definite article or not in the two citations below brings about any changes in meaning. What is being ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Definite article with “Wiener filtering”, an uncountable noun

I have a sentence something like this We apply Wiener filtering to obtain a solution. In this "Wiener filtering" is a uncountable noun. I am not sure whether "the" is required before it.
1
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4answers
75 views

Should I say “study materials” or “education materials” or “teaching material?”

I am building a web application where people can upload their study materials about robotics and programming and manage them and share etc. I want to name it well, so at the moment I have: ...
1
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0answers
52 views

one of my “innovations” or “innovation”? [closed]

I'm puzzled by checking the Oxford Dictionaries http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/innovation. If I want to say "introducing one of my innovations", can I use the word "innovation" ...
1
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1answer
66 views

“a list of” + uncountable noun

I find the following two phrases perfectly correct: A list of books A list of names However, when an uncountable noun follows "a list of", it somehow sounds awkward to me: A list of equipment A ...
1
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3answers
103 views

Single countable word for trash/garbage

I am can't seem to think of a single word for trash or garbage in the singular form. I want to use in a sentence like so: I picked up two [trashes] yesterday. Obviously that is wrong because ...
1
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3answers
1k views

“Fewer resources” or “less resources”? [duplicate]

I was writing a document in Microsoft Word, and it flagged "less resources" as being ungrammatical and suggested "fewer resources". I did some research, and it appears that "fewer resources" seems to ...
0
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3answers
344 views

Can “network” be a mass noun?

I stumbled upon a video having this phrase in its narration, "[The university] has been equipped with computer network, electric systems, and internet". Personally, I never use "network" as a mass ...
0
votes
4answers
175 views

Countable and uncountable in one word? [closed]

[original question] Do any words words exist that are a countable and an uncountable noun at the same time? Are there any nouns that are both countable and uncountable? Are there any words which ...
0
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2answers
131 views

“Censorship” as a countable noun [closed]

Is censorships a legitimate word? Obviously it could be used to mean multiple censorships for something.
0
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2answers
377 views

When does an uncountable noun become countable?

I wonder why "fat" "carbohydrate" and "protein" can have the plural form as in the following quotes. Aren't those nouns uncountable? The Russian consumer protection agency said Friday it is taking ...
0
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2answers
444 views

Is “deliberation” or “deliberations” correct when done over multiple topics?

Are these sentences correct? Contemporary deliberation on American culture, economy, politics in the 20th and 21st century? Contemporary deliberation*s* on American culture, economy, and politics ...