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I was wondering

Is bread a material noun or not?

closed as off-topic by user140086, Mitch, Hellion, JHCL, tchrist Nov 4 '15 at 1:45

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Yes.

Counter-intuitively, bread is a material noun.

You cannot use "2 breads" to mean "2 loaves of bread", "2 rolls", "2 buns", "2 slices of bread" etc. etc. etc. That would be "some bread" (1 loaf/slice etc. would be some bread too)


As with all material nouns, bread can be pluralised when discussing types. e.g. "2 metals" meaning "2 types of metal (e.g. copper and iron)" but not "2 pieces of metal"

Similarly, 2 breads might mean "some brown bread and some white bread", but not "2 loaves of bread".

Also, check out http://ELL.stackexchange.com , probably a more helpful forum for you than here.

  • Two breads please – FumbleFingers Nov 3 '15 at 14:57
  • @fumblefingers Are you agreeing or disagreeing with this answer? There's hardly anything there and the first link is a book specifically pointing out how this is a common mistake by Dutch speakers. books.google.co.uk/… – Some_Guy Nov 3 '15 at 15:46
  • I'm disagreeing. This is ELU, not ELL (where the question probably should be asked, which is why I've voted to close/migrate). It's not really important whether any of the written instances in my link reflect valid pluralisations. The fact of the matter is bread can be used as a countable noun (to mean different types of bread, or individual items such as Naan breads, and probably other senses). – FumbleFingers Nov 3 '15 at 17:27
  • You provided a link to a search which returned a bunch of links and books giving examples of incorrect sentences, to point out that 2 breads is in fact correct? Wouldn't your comment have been more useful and less passive aggressive if you just told me your issue with my answer? I voted to close as well, just thought it'd be quick to answer anyway. Hopefully my edit satisfies you. – Some_Guy Nov 3 '15 at 18:19
  • I don't see the point in cluttering up ELU with answered trivial questions like this, but I've cancelled my downvote. – FumbleFingers Nov 3 '15 at 18:24

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