I need to write an article and I have to use this word in the context. I cannot replace the word with a different word (warehouse, repository, etc.). I checked this word via http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/storage and Cambridge dictionaries online said 'storage' is uncountable and http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/storage?q=storage Oxford learner sdictionarie said 'storage' is uncountable too.

But I am not sure that cannot be countable in this example:

The storage can be divided into some small storages

Thank you for your time.

  • StackExchange deprecates cross-posting between SE sites. Please delete either this question or the one on English Language Learners. Dec 1, 2015 at 18:49
  • I have some sympathy in this case as the direct answer, that it's uncountable, is clearly ELL, but what to do about it is more ELU.
    – Dan
    Dec 1, 2015 at 18:53
  • "divided into" would sound better than "divided on."
    – Hugh
    Dec 1, 2015 at 19:22

2 Answers 2


Storage is uncountable. You cannot say a storage. A unit of storage is usually called a store, which is countable, of course. It can also be called a storage unit. For example:

The storage for a Harvard architecture computer comprises an instruction store and a data store.


I placed my clothes into storage. We hired a storage unit from Honest John's Storage.

(Both in computing and also physical storage, you can use either store or storage unit as you see fit. The former inclines somewhat to talking about storing in abstract, the latter to a physical location. Unit can, less commonly, be substituted with similar words, such as device, locker, location, ....

Edit: This is the situation for British English and US English the situation may be more complex in Australian English, about which I'm not qualified to comment.

  • You don't give any supporting evidence that storage is mandatorily non-count. The only dictionary I've found making a pronouncement on the subject labels 'usually non-count; plural storages' for two of the senses it lists. Dec 1, 2015 at 18:59
  • The examples I can find are all AusE (I'll edit my answer to that effect), instances of the sewerage vs sewage mixup, or poor translations.
    – Dan
    Dec 1, 2015 at 19:29
  • All I know is that using "storages" will get you weird looks, except perhaps when you are gazing upon a stack of computer storage cards. (And this is in the computer industry, where torturing the language is customary.)
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 1, 2015 at 19:57

It is usual for the plural of abstract nouns to be used for instances of the noun.

"Example" is a good example where it has become so usual it leads a double life. "Security" is another. I could give you other examples.

Example, Storage, and Security are uncountable but when used in the plural they should be understood as examples of the abstract. And these are countable words.

Compare: reification; from

Reify: Oxford
Make (something abstract) more concrete or real.

  • But this fails to address OP's query; 'usual' doesn't mean 'always acceptable'. Also, ELU appreciates answers providing supporting evidence for claims. And I'd guess that the 70% say 'usual' requires of [do you mean 'abstract', or 'non-count'?] nouns is an unrealistic figure. Dec 1, 2015 at 18:54
  • First example,Text corpora demand large dynamically structured storages for keeping texts, annotations and other information of the texts and the text corpora. Second example, creating combined storages for keeping data and metadata improves my skills.
    – Bushuev
    Dec 1, 2015 at 18:57

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