If I say

We have a total of 10 paints in the following categories "

10 Matt and egg shell paints

Does that list make sense or does it read as if I have 10 Matt paints and 10 egg shell paints totaling 20 paints (the actual list is about 100 paints broken into categories).

  • If you say that you're confusing the heck out your reader. You have 10 categories of paint.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 22 '20 at 20:58
  • 1
    The word total lets the reader know that you have 10 of matte or eggshell finish. Jun 23 '20 at 0:41
  • Maybe it’s 10 paints in the following category: Matte and eggshell. (Matte is a finish; is eggshell a finish, not a color?)
    – Xanne
    Jun 23 '20 at 1:56
  • 1
    It does make sense but it's not very informative. It could mean that you have 9 matt and 1 eggshell, 1 matt and 9 eggshell or any combination in between. It would be better to be specific.
    – BoldBen
    Jun 23 '20 at 4:20
  • @BoldBen I agree with that but I only have a limited amount of space for the text and 100 paints so i am trying to break that down into manageable amounts.
    – Naz
    Jun 23 '20 at 11:15

Paint is a non-countable object, like water. Most liquids and fine powders are not countable. When the noun is uncountable, you have to use a word that is countable, and that word gets changes to plural. For "paint," some examples are below:

10 types of paint

10 colors of paint

10 buckets of paint

10 liters of paint

  • But aren't liquids and powders non-countable as well?
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 23 '20 at 0:25
  • 1
    I think paints is correct here, as it would be in “10 blue paints.”
    – Xanne
    Jun 23 '20 at 1:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.