Questions tagged [uncountable-nouns]

Questions about uncountable (non-count, mass) nouns

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29 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 &...
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1answer
19 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 ...
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23 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 ...
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48 views

“Partition” as an uncountable noun being commonly used as if it was countable

The noun "partition" in the meaning of "the dividing of a country" is marked as UNCOUNTABLE by every online English dictionary which gives the countability information. That means, ...
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3answers
53 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 ...
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28 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 ...
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1answer
81 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 ...
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26 views

Is there any difference between these two constructions?

In the following two constructions, the first is used with an indefinite article, while the other is used without. The woman speaks a good Arabic. The woman speaks good Arabic. I am wondering if ...
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1answer
94 views

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

At one time, some usage guides maintained that people could not be preceded by a number, as in Fewer than 30 people showed up. https://www.wordreference.com/definition/people However, I cannot find ...
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47 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 ...
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25 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 ...
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2answers
55 views

value: singular vs plural [duplicate]

"Wall Street banks had made billions of dollars on complex investments backed by mortgages whose value now plunged." In this sentence, why was the word "value" used as a singular ...
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1answer
41 views

Mass noun Question: “survival”(uncountable) , “struggle(countable)”

generally "survival" is uncountable, however "struggle" is countable. In my guess and definitions in dictionaries "survival" is a state and continuing sense. struggle is ...
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4answers
80 views

Free hand: uncountable

Free hand [countable; singular] ​ Unrestricted freedom or authority: They gave the director a free hand to cut the budget wherever she wanted​ https://www.wordreference.com/definition/free%20hand ...
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1answer
73 views

Using “one” with nouns whose countability is ambiguous

An ESL student produced the following sentence: “The Western diet seems to be more unhealthy than the Japanese one.” The use of “one” immediately struck me as awkward, but not necessarily incorrect, ...
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33 views

use of “the” in front of an uncountable noun

I was reading an article and came across this sentence: "Until the middle of the century, (no the?) use of chemical fertilizer was limited." I can tell that the word "use" here is ...
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1answer
27 views

“(…) afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, (…)” - what does it mean?

I'm not sure what does Melville exactly mean by afford stuff for a good joke to anybody in chapter five of Moby-Dick. However, a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; ...
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22 views

Restrictions on ranges indicated by quantifiers in count usages

I've a query regarding common quantifiers used with count usages. I've searched in various resources such as online dictionaries, but I couldn't find out the fruitful solution. Here is the problem: ...
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1answer
541 views

Which one is right: “there are a lot of content” or “there is a lot of content”? [closed]

Which one is right? There are a lot of content. There is a lot of content. A friend of mine said "there are a lot of content in TikTok app" and I corrected him saying "there is" which lead to an ...
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1answer
891 views

You need rest vs You need a rest

Literally as above, I encountered those sentences in my reading. I wonder about difference between them. Is 'You need a rest' a more emphatic suggestion than 'You need rest' in spoken English? As I ...
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1answer
83 views

Does the structure “an example of” take a plural or a singular noun or both?

For instance, are the following sentences grammatical, and do they mean the same thing or have different meanings? Cheese is an example of protien-rich food. Cheese is an example of a protein-rich ...
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2answers
135 views

Countable uncountable noun vs always singular noun

I always refer to LDOCE for definitions of words. There is additional info on the senses there. That's why I love it. But, I am still deeply confused with these noun classifications; countable ...
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40 views

Is “foreshadowing” a countable noun or uncountable noun?

In my book review, I want to express that "I find well-plotted foreshadowings, which indicate the inevitable tragedy". Is it correct or not? By the way, should I use the word "indicate"?
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3answers
65 views

Is it okay to use the word “freedoms” in the following sentence or should I use the word “freedom”?

The laws in our country that restrict our freedoms are not legislated by evil politicians.
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63 views

Why do I need “a” in “a mere 5 percent”?

Examples (https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/mere) Sixty per cent of teachers are women, but a mere 5 percent of women are heads and deputies. Tickets are a mere £7.50 at the door. ...
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388 views

What is the difference between use and usage?

Can use and usage be written interchangeably? Does use include usage under its scope? Does usage has more specific meaning attached to it? If there is any difference, tell me one striking difference ...
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3answers
162 views

plural subject with uncountable noun “impetus”

"Free education and health care are among the other impetus". Here the subject is plural, and I want to use it with impetus. However, impetus is uncountable. What is the correct form of that sentence?...
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45 views

Is it idiomatic to say “there are 5 Japanese tofus on the dish” to mean “there are 5 pieces of Japanese tofu on the dish”?

When you look for an English noun in an English dictionary, sometimes you see the noun being used as an uncountable and a countable noun. And normally, we use it as an uncountable noun when we want to ...
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1answer
127 views

stock [uncountable] vs livestock [uncountable, plural]

STOCK [uncountable]: farm animals, such as cows and sheep, that are kept for their meat, wool, etc. SEE ALSO livestock LIVESTOCK [uncountable, plural]: animals kept on a farm, for example cows or ...
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4answers
3k views

Coffee or coffees in this context? [closed]

In the morning, most sales are coffees and pastries. Coffee can be used as a countable or an uncountable noun. So what should I choose in this sentence?
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49 views

Is it correct from a function's perspective to say “a piece of diamond”?

I'm designing a test for EFL students, basic level, and one item that refers to uncountable nouns was the following: "When I travel, I only take a piece of _______ for my security." My distractor was "...
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2answers
65 views

Meaning of velocity - mass noun vs countable noun

Dictionary entries like https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/velocity?q=velocity state that velocity can be a mass noun or a countable noun. What is the difference between the ...
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2answers
121 views

When is the word “Departure” countable or uncountable? [closed]

When is "Departure" a countable usage and when is it not?
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53 views

About collective noun

Information, crockery, stationery, luggage are nouns that refers to combination of heterogenous items. Herd, flock, album, refers to collective nouns with homogenous items. What is the difference ...
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2answers
278 views

How is 'fixture' a count-noun when 'furniture' is a mass noun?

Fixture is defined in the LEXICO Dictionary as: A piece of equipment or furniture which is fixed in position in a building or vehicle. Here're a couple examples from the dictionary: Cathedral ...
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1answer
49 views

“The youth of today dream of high-quality educationS.” (Why) Is this sentence correct?

The youth of today dream of high-quality educationS. Is this sentence correct? If so, then why? A teacher I know often uses uncountable Nonouns such as knowledges, educations, sugars as plurals. ...
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95 views

Can Importance Be Different?

Importance is an uncountable noun, so one may shorten this sentence We have external information and internal information. The importance of the external information and that of the internal ...
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1answer
89 views

What is the singular form of fennel?

If I have one fennel bulb, what do I call it? What is the singular form of fennel?
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319 views

“Weigh benefit(s) against risk(s)”

Both nouns can be either a count noun or a mass noun. I think individually benefit tends to be used countably more than it appears as a mass noun. We list the potential benefits (count) of a thing. ...
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1answer
353 views

Are “measles, mumps, Diabetes, rabies, rickets, shingles” uncountable nouns or singular nouns?

Page http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv259.shtml say that these words are uncountable nouns, but page https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/...
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38 views

Using 'that' and 'the' with 'negotiations'

I came across this phrase: I see negotiations have gone as planned. Why is there no article before negotiations? For example: I see the negotiations have gone as planned. I think that the ...
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1answer
253 views

Can the grammar terms, the words 'subject' and 'object', be used as uncountable nouns?

I thought the grammar terms such as 'subject' and 'object' were countable. But I notice that they can sometimes be used without any determiner. For example, here's the first sentence of a linguistics ...
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42 views

“less of” and “lesser” with uncountable nouns

1. She spends less of her time playing tennis now. - correct example 2. She had less of reason to complain than I. - incorrect example (I know we can make "reason" countable and write "...
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3answers
155 views

Are mental illnesses countable?

I know that the correct phrasing for this sentence is, but I don't know why. Many of the volunteers had already shown some early signs of mental illness. Since the illness is unspecified, shouldn'...
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89 views

Collins Dictionary error: “a new design”?

I am looking up the Collins Dictionary today for the word "design". https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/design In meaning 4, I see this: uncountable noun The design of ...
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3answers
483 views

Riches vs richness

Is this sentence wrong, and why? My richness is having friends. A friend of mine corrected me in: My riches are having friends. A bit of context. I wanted to say that my friends are my ...
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81 views

Is it really correct to say that some nouns are countable and others are uncountable?

It is generally accepted practice in linguistics that common nouns are classified into count nouns (aka, countable nouns) and non-count nouns (aka, uncountable nouns or mass nouns). For example, in ...
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55 views
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36 views

their last hope or their last hopes

I have a confusion about the usage of plural forms of uncountable & abstract nouns. I come across both usages like: Their last hopes remain elusive Their last hope remains elusive Is it okay ...
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788 views

Is “the most amount of {countable things}” ever an acceptable replacement for “the greatest amount of {countable things}”?

A recent BBC article reads in part, Yellowstone officials say bison can run up to 30mph (50km/h) and are the animal responsible for the most amount of injuries within the park. The phrase “the ...

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