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Questions tagged [uncountable-nouns]

Questions about uncountable (non-count, mass) nouns

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Fire (as in shooting) in plural

Is it usual to write about “fires” when one means shooting? I was reading the RUSI report “Preliminary Lessons from Ukraine’s Offensive Operations, 2022–23”, and found that it uses the noun “fire” in ...
Ture Pålsson's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
107 views

Need an accessible explanation on nitty-gritty details of how semantical distinction between count vs uncount nouns works in English

Sorry if this question has been answered before, I have been unable to find anything remotely adequate on this website. What I want: to learn patterns that allow to be better at guessing (and/or ...
KarmaPeasant's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
27 views

What adjective indicating number is understood when no adjective is used? [duplicate]

Take the following statement, when used within a conversation on Global Warming: Polar bears are dying in the North. There is no adjective to describe the number of polar bears. According to normal ...
izzatso's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
512 views

Detail (countable) vs detail (uncountable) vs details (plural only)

I feel like I almost grasp the fine differences between detail (countable), detail (uncountable) and details (plural only), but just almost. It's still a little difficult to spontaneously know which ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
  • 5,401
0 votes
2 answers
79 views

When countable nouns are used as noun modifiers, are they still countable? [duplicate]

For example, we know "cat" or "student" are countable nouns, they are only marked as countable in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English as well. But are "cat" ...
Christopher W's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is the singular "dress" used in "all wearing traditional dress"? [closed]

I live in Sweden and I've recently finished a test in our English class. One specific question caught me off guard. The question is as follows: Alma's mother, now 95, could once be found on a sunny ...
HarKatt's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
44 views

Treating the word "grammar" in proper grammar

Driving down the road I saw a state sign that was written poorly. I said, “That’s a bad grammar.’ My wife was offended I said “a” grammar. I can’t find an answer to see if what I said is acceptable. ...
Chris Nix's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Which is correct? This connective tissue is "fascia" or "a fascia"?

Developers are constantly stealing words from other disciplines. One we've recently acquired is fascia, which Michael Feathers explains in a blog post: Each section [of an orange] is covered with ...
candied_orange's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
319 views

Using “more” with both countable and uncountable nouns

The rules for using “less” or “ fewer” are clear (although often abused): I have less money than you. (Uncountable noun) I have fewer bank notes than you. (Countable noun) Why then, is there no ...
Darren's user avatar
  • 165
0 votes
1 answer
399 views

"run for presidency" or "run for the presidency"

I have a question about "run for presidency"/"run for the presidency" (in this case, it's about a presidential election) He will run for the presidency. He will run for presidency....
Homa Arvin's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
1k views

"Resources" as an uncountable noun?

Which of the following is better: How many resources (such as data and computation) are necessary to complete the process? How much resources (such as data and computation) are necessary to complete ...
π314's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
219 views

Can every noun be both countable and uncountable? [closed]

I think every noun can be uncountable. It's easy to prove with food: Mother beaver teaches her daughter to cook a salad: Now, add some table to taste. In this context the countable noun table became ...
Loviii's user avatar
  • 742
0 votes
2 answers
165 views

Admission or Admissions [closed]

In the context of applying to schools, should we use "admission" or admissions"? Is it an "admission system," or an "admissions system"? "Configure School ...
ένας's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
76 views

Subject verb agreement conjunction-countable and uncountable nouns [duplicate]

There were grapes and coffee on the table. There were coffee and grapes on the table. There was grapes and coffee on the table. There was coffee and grapes on the table. The ones in bold sound correct ...
Gary Moore's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
399 views

Is it correct to use "source codes" to mean the source code of more programs? [duplicate]

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word source code is countable, even if usually used in its singular form. I would like to know if it is correct to use the plural to mean the source code of ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
603 views

"Three spoonfuls of sugar" does this require the verb to be plural? [duplicate]

Which of these is correct? Three spoonfuls of sugar is too much. or Three spoonfuls of sugar are too much. I feel like the second could be correct, because there are more than one spoon. But on second ...
user451740's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is the phrase "source code" intrinsically plural? [closed]

If we're talking about the phrase "source code", isn't that naturally and implicitly plural? Consider the following sentence: All of the source code for this project is in a public GitHub ...
David Pine's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
135 views

Is it allowed to use "Olympic Games" like a countable noun? [closed]

I heard 'Olympic Games' is a collective noun, so it is uncountable. When I'd like to refer to the Olympic Games held in particular year(s), can I treat it like a countable (and/or singular) noun? ...
Thunderweb's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
6k views

Registrations is or registrations are? [closed]

When announcing that people can register for an event, which is correct: "Registrations are open" or "Registration is open"? I opt for the latter every time, but I have come across ...
Irena Huseinovic's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
100 views

Does "chromatography" have plural (chromatographies)?

Chromatography is a chemical method which can be performed in different ways. Some of main types are liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, size exclusion chromatography. Oxford dictionary ...
drenova's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
2 answers
141 views

Uncountable noun becoming countable [closed]

Can a word like violence, which is an uncountable noun, be made countable? For example, there are different types of violence such as physical violence, emotional violence, etc. In this instance, ...
Mason's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
48 views

Making uncountable nouns plural vs regular plural nouns [duplicate]

There are several different types of happiness. There are many different kinds of government. There are many types of golf balls. Since we are talking about different types of happiness would you ...
George's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
487 views

Is "word" in my examples countable or not?

merriam-webster.com: (1) Word has it that the neighbors are moving next month. My variants: (2) Word on the street has it that the neighbors are moving next month. (3) The word is that the neighbors ...
Loviii's user avatar
  • 742
2 votes
1 answer
401 views

Word choice of "much" vs "many", like "too many hours", but "too much time" [duplicate]

Why is it called: "Too much time", but "Too many hours"? When you Google "too much or too many" you get: Much is always used together with an uncountable noun (like 'oil'...
Ola Ström's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is "luggage" becoming a countable noun?

When I learned English, I learned that "luggage" an uncountable noun, meaning the collection of all your bags and suitcases (and/or their contents). From https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 69
0 votes
0 answers
22 views

Is it correct to say, "The king gifted him with a generous amount of gold, horses and chariots"? [duplicate]

Is it correct to say... The king gifted him with a generous amount of gold, horses and chariots Not sure whether 'amount' can be used here, since 'horses' and 'chariots' are listed with an ...
Ammamon's user avatar
  • 201
2 votes
2 answers
375 views

When is the word "vaccine" uncountable?

According to the Oxford Learner's Dictionary definition for vaccine: [countable, uncountable] ​a substance that is put into the blood and that protects the body from a disease a measles vaccine ...
Hengbo Cai's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Is the noun "Nash equilibrium" countable? [closed]

I am working in the field of Game theory. I use the word Nash equilibrium intensively, but I always wonder about this word countability. I think the word Nash equilibrium should be countable. Because ...
dawen's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
0 answers
814 views

The definite article before dark, darkness, light

Why is there a definite article before the words darkness and light in the sentence below: But as is so often true, the darkness lingers longer than the light. And why is the expression in the dark/...
zhabometr's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
292 views

countable nouns and uncoutable nouns: water and an (the) apple(s) [duplicate]

"Bread and butter" can be plural and singular and it denpends on the context but how about some combinations like countable and uncountable words? For example, "(a) water and an (the) ...
02l4's user avatar
  • 9
0 votes
2 answers
154 views

"Numbers": mass noun

Garner reads Although enough modifies either count nouns or mass nouns, enough stamina, sufficient should modify only mass nouns, so the usage problem can be solved by making it sufficient numbers of....
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
0 votes
2 answers
767 views

Is it painting or paintings when we refer to it as a form of art?

Cinematography is a form of visual arts with motion pictures. Photography is a form of visual arts with static pictures. But how does one refer to a form of visual arts that consists of paintings ...
wintermute's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
148 views

"What a grand and intoxicating foolishness" and "what grand intoxicating foolishness" [duplicate]

Innocence, foolishness, lunacy, such nouns aren't countable, right? So both of these sentences are right. But which way would you rather use such a sentence? I know google favors the latter, but I ...
Dusk Fall's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
205 views

Article usage in two sentences [duplicate]

Two sentences: She underwent emergency surgery. I had to undergo a medical examination when I started my new job. Why in sentence one the article "an" is not required before "...
user76539's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
91 views

In chess lingo, should pieces be preceded with the "the" article? [closed]

I've noticed many native english speakers that are professional chess players saying things like: In this situation I can capture with pawn. This just "sounds" very unnatural to me and I ...
Trufa's user avatar
  • 409
2 votes
4 answers
446 views

Using the indefinite article before "rain"

I have recently learned the use of the indefinite article before uncountable nouns to talk about an unspecific instance. Can I use "a heavy rain" in the following sentence to communicate ...
Ayden Ferguson's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
884 views

Mass noun equivalent of 'music' for 'movies'

Do we have a mass noun equivalent like 'music' but for 'movies'? If not, what nature of the meaning of 'music' makes it a mass noun as opposed to countable nouns like 'movies'? I was wondering why ...
Tangent's user avatar
  • 59
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can "wildlife" be a collective noun?

All dictionaries I have checked list the term wildlife as an uncountable noun. But there are plenty of examples that treat wildlife as a plural. Indeed, Google returns around one million search ...
user48754's user avatar
  • 275
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

What is the difference between an "uncountable noun" and an "adjective" [duplicate]

In the word "afternoon tea"(the tea that is served in afternoon) the word 'afternoon' is an uncountable noun as OALD shows. In the word "English countryside"(the countryside that ...
Aung Oakkar's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
27 views

About the usage of "so small" [duplicate]

Recently, I have been reading a book about TOEFL grammar. I came across this multiple-choice problem: I have _______ money left. (A) a great number (B) so small (C) only a little (D) only a few The ...
Wei-Cheng Liu's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
375 views

How to express in physics if some value depends on a variable? Dependence, or dependency? And what about the plural? [duplicate]

In physics, people very often measure some values which depend on some variable, say the air temperature as a function of time. I think the verb depend is used correctly, since dictionaries define &...
user27145's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
193 views

few/little/some software (in plural) [duplicate]

I would like to say: Available calculation methods are limited to few software. With "few", I mean 3 programs. However, "software" is an uncountable noun. "Some" and &...
st4co4's user avatar
  • 267
1 vote
1 answer
84 views

possessive referring to behavior of multiple actors

In "Alice and Bob's contrary behavior served to" vs "Alice's and Bob's contrary behavior served to" Usually the choice between the two forms hinges on whether the two actors ...
a101010's user avatar
  • 119
0 votes
0 answers
42 views

History of the use of "none" for countable nouns

The concept of countable nouns seems to be rapidly disappearing from modern English (e.g. I'm seeing "the amount of people" with increasing frequency, even in reputable publications, which ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
114 views

Word for "many" for mass nouns

I'm looking for a strong size modifier like "numerous", "countless", or "copious" that I can use to modify a mass noun. I know of plenty of options that involve several ...
TheEnvironmentalist's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
43 views

Lead to (the) confusion where

Don’t listen to multiple perspectives, it will eventually lead to the confusion where it’s hard to focus. Does using the definite article here make sense? We generally don’t use the definite article ...
Ayden Ferguson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

is opportunity countable or non-countable?

I want to use the phrase "plenty of opportunities" in my essay, but I'm not sure whether opportunity is countable or not. Some people say that the phrase "plenty of opportunity" is ...
Akbermet 's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
160 views

"People" was not to be preceded by a number, as in "Fewer than 30 people showed up"

From WordReference I discovered the following usage note At one time, some usage guides maintained that people could not be preceded by a number, as in Fewer than 30 people showed up. WordReference ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
0 votes
0 answers
97 views

Singular / plural form of the noun ‘type’ (meaning printed letters or typeface) – what are the rules?

When is the noun type (meaning typeface or text set in type) used in singular form and when is it used in plural form? Is it referred to as a singulare tantum? In which case is it an uncountable noun ...
rkeller's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
173 views

Correct possessive: "my genius" or "my ingeniosity"?

I have stumbled across the usage of "genius" as a possessive on two seperate occassions: A meme featuring Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear saying: Sometimes my genius is... it's almost ...
Stacker's user avatar
  • 61

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