Questions about uncountable (non-count, mass) nouns

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3
votes
6answers
2k views

Is ”Have you got paper?” a well-formed question?

Is it grammatical to ask Have you got paper? Do you have to specify have you got a piece of paper, any paper, or some paper — or can you just say paper?
7
votes
1answer
7k views

Many more vs much more / many fewer vs much fewer

This year there were: many more people much more people Alternatively: many fewer people much fewer people Which is considered better English?
1
vote
4answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the plural “bosoms” an acceptable word? Or is it always “bosom”?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bosom I found recently that even an elderly educated woman was referring to her bosom in the plural, as her bosoms. Please settle my discomfort finally, and clarify ...
5
votes
3answers
29k views

“Is there” versus “Are there”

Are there any questions I should be asking? Is there any articles available on the subject? My instinct is that in the two questions above, it should be 'are' as the subjects of the sentences ...
11
votes
4answers
9k views

“Baggage” versus “luggage”

I have the feeling that luggage is more closely associated with vacation travel, whereas baggage is for general transportation. Or... are they just exact synonyms?
3
votes
1answer
309 views

When do nouns convert between mass and count?

I confess to having the pedantic hangup of refusing to use email as a count noun, but it's a lost cause. Over the past week I've been working on a modeling and simulation proposal, and I've noticed ...
6
votes
3answers
248 views

Is “latte” a countable noun?

I have learned that liquids are uncountable, except for measurements such as "three cups of water." So, does "three lattes" in this context refer to three cups of latte?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Are two or more clusters of ivy considered “ivy” or “ivies”?

When referring to two or more clusters of ivy, is it ivy, ivies, or something else entirely?
1
vote
3answers
433 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.
6
votes
2answers
484 views

“I played two music” vs. “I played two pieces of music”

I have a Canadian friend who sometimes helps me improve my English. A few days ago she sent me a list of some words (nouns) which the plural form is the same of the singular. One of these words was ...
31
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it wrong to use the word “codes” in a programming context?

Is it wrong to use the word "codes" in programming context? I shall use these codes.
22
votes
6answers
64k views

Is “there're” (similar to “there's”) a correct contraction?

Q: "Do you have any juice?" A: "Yes, there's some in the fridge." Sounds perfectly fine to me, but: Q: "Do you have any towels?" A: "Yes, there's some in the closet." Does not. I asked ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Using an uncountable noun and 'none'

Today I came across the following sentence: We asked for help and were given none. It feels and sounds right to me. However, after decomposing none into not one, it becomes apparent that you ...
4
votes
3answers
806 views

“The (Cobra)” vs. “An (elephant)”, articles with nouns denoting a class

[ 1 ] tells on p.5 that "Singular nouns denoting a class" are preceded by the definite article "THE" (Example: "The Cobra is dangerous"), while on page 7 (Table 6. THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE) it tells ...
50
votes
11answers
4k views

Is “data” considered singular or plural?

Related to this question and this question. My non-native English speaking friend just asked me: Data is ... or Data are ... I said both but that's because I've been desensitized from ...
20
votes
5answers
9k views

Types of things vs. types of thing

When speaking precisely or technically, one would say that "Homo erectus and homo sapiens are two species of hominid" rather than "Homo erectus and homo sapiens are two species of hominids." The ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Is the word “data” now considered singular, or still plural?

I know that the singular of data is datum. I know that data is a plural. However, common usage of the word "data" suggests it is used as a "collection of data". Here is [the collection of] data. ...
6
votes
5answers
556 views

Explanation for “emails”?

This is a thinly veiled rant, I realize, but if anybody can rationalize "emails" for me in such a way that I can stop grabbing people who say it, and asking them if they've ever gone to their mailsbox ...
4
votes
6answers
713 views

Mass nouns and counts nouns. Does getting it wrong ever matter?

Less/fewer, too much/too many, amount/number... When people get these things wrong, it bugs me. But I cannot think of a situation where mistaking a mass noun for a count noun (or vice versa) would ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

“None” as plural indefinite pronoun

In my grammar book (English Grammar, HarperCollins Publishers), I read that none is occasionally treated as plural, but it is usually regarded as singular. Can you give me an example of sentence where ...
11
votes
4answers
17k views

Is “stuff ” a plural word? [closed]

I'm wondering which one of these expressions is correct? This stuff or these stuff?
11
votes
5answers
795 views

What does Maugham mean by “his spaghetti were”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Was the usage "Spaghetti were" ever acceptable or common? [Following up from, but not a duplicate of, this question by another user, which was unresolved…] ...
7
votes
2answers
671 views

Was the usage “Spaghetti were” ever acceptable or common?

In W. Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence, there is a line about Dirk Stroeve which goes His spaghetti were …. Spaghetti is plural in Italian, but is this ever a normal usage in English? ...