1

Is it correct to use the plural form of stuff as in this sentence:

I have packed all my stuffs.

Should the singular be used or there is no difference in meaning?

7

Stuff is usually uncountable, so you do not use a plural.

It is used in the same way as, say, water:

I drank all my water.
I packed all my stuff.

Usually, because in some (rare) cases you might want to use a plural.

I bought 6 kinds of bottled water. I have tasted all 6 waters, but they all taste the same to me. I guess you could do something similar with stuff.

  • for water, yes a plural sometimes makes sense. But for stuff? – jwenting Feb 10 '14 at 15:20
  • I was just quoting wiktionary on the usually. I have to admit I couldn't easily come up with a reasonable example :) Maybe you can have different foodstuffs? (Yes, my spell checker accepts it :P ) – oerkelens Feb 10 '14 at 15:33
  • foodstuffs yes. But that's not stuffs, but rather a commonly accepted word for "food items". – jwenting Feb 10 '14 at 15:55
  • Just going out on a limb here. Ask Wiktionary for exceptions of the "usually", I don't have any :P See Leon Conrad's answer :) – oerkelens Feb 10 '14 at 15:57
  • In saying 'I have tasted all 6 waters' you're actually saying 'I have tasted all 6 Brands/Glasses/Types of water'. So it remains with water not having a plural - being an uncountable noun. – Yokel Feb 10 '14 at 16:23
1

There are several meanings of the word. The most general is almost as wide as 'thingamijig' or 'thing'. In this sense, the general term is used in singular form.

However, if referring to a particular kind of 'thing', such as cloth, see def. no. 4 here, it would be quite feasible to use the plural form.

It is in this sense that the word has been used as a suffix in words like, for example, foodstuff(s) which is frequently found in both single and plural forms.

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