All Rights Reserved. There are several reasons why understanding nouns, and especially the difference between Count and Mass nouns is important. Related questions. This is straight out of grammar 101, so no problem, right? To give you an idea of what these are, I’ve compiled a list. 0 In other words, mass nouns refer to things that cannot be counted (e.g., oxygen, air, food). One of the primary reasons is that the type of noun will determine whether an article should be used before the noun or not (singluar, countable nouns always have either an article or a possessor, but a Mass Noun does not need either).Another reason is that even though a Mass Noun often referes to a plural concept, it is treated singularly in a sentence (There is lots of sand in Goa. And when writing professionally in any form, be it a cover letter for a job application, or a thesis paper for class, we really don’t want to look stupid. Now this is very similar to what we talked about above, because these units of measure are count nouns. Mass Nouns name everything that cannot be counted, things such as liquids (Water, oil) abstract ideas (knowledge, advice) and things too small to be counted (rice, sand). 99 0 obj <>/Filter/FlateDecode/ID[<01C0441234314D61C7E48CCFBAD6C2B2><9CD8856ECD9962419FBC10F8BF14DDEC>]/Index[78 40]/Info 77 0 R/Length 107/Prev 931929/Root 79 0 R/Size 118/Type/XRef/W[1 3 1]>>stream An uncountable noun is also known as a mass noun. There are concrete nouns, and abstract nouns. Learn these common nouns examples to improve your English. But it is meant to give you an idea of which types of nouns are mass nouns. IELTS Speaking Phase 2 - Sample Questions, IELTS Speaking Phase 1 - More Sample Questions, IELTS Speaking Phase 1 - Common Topics & Questions. ", "Is there a conceptual basis for the grammatical distinction between count nouns and mass nouns? Can we add a number and an s to make this plural, like 7 admirations? A similar view applies to the use of mass nouns. At times the distinction between count nouns and mass nouns gets a little fuzzy. Mass nouns can fall into one of several categories. "The first-grader pauses, pensive, tugging on the green yarn around her neck. We can also clump Collective Nouns in the Mass Noun category because, grammatically, they are treated the same. The actual number is not necessary, but it is more specific. Examples of mass nouns (something that can't be counted, often because the noun lacks a plural in ordinary usage). To take this idea another step further, there are count nouns and mass nouns (also called non-count nouns). Examples of mass nouns include the following: Source: http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/massnouns/. offers professional writing lesson videos for all levels of writers! What the exercise above was meant to do was get you thinking about how nouns can be very different from one another. Like all things in English (and language in general), there may be exceptions. Obviously not, because intelligence is abstract and not easily quantifiable. h�b```a`` This happens when you are talking about categories of nouns, in this case foods. Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. There is actually a way to use the plural of a mass noun with the addition of the letter s, but it really happens most frequently in the food and liquids category. endstream endobj 79 0 obj <> endobj 80 0 obj <> endobj 81 0 obj <>stream Trask, R. L. "Mind the Gaffe! Check out the image below for some rules on the usage of Mass Nouns. This should help you understand how a mass noun affects a sentence. Below is the list of some countable and uncountable nouns to give you a brief idea of their existence in our lives. The noun war is an example. Have you ever wondered why you can have two plates of spaghetti but not two spaghettis? As I said at the beginning, we all probably know much of this instinctively. Finally, she looks up and says gravely, 'I would ask the hays to find it.' Tiny gears are turning; she's twisting her fingers together, pondering. Posted by Venture English on September 27, 2013. A common noun list names, in general terms, a person, place, thing, or idea. Here are a few general rules for count nouns (to which there are always exceptions). Some of them, however, can be pluralized when they have transferred senses, such as varieties (Rhone wines), measures (four coffees), or embodiments (alien intelligences). So, in order to know what a mass noun is, let’s start from the top! This noun is also a mass noun. Counter. If you tried, it would look like this: Four water, six cold, five walking, eight rain. What did you notice? In linguistics, a mass noun, uncountable noun, or non-count noun is a noun with the syntactic property that any quantity of it is treated as an undifferentiated unit, rather than as something with discrete elements. Things and Stuff: Mass Terms and Generics (New Directions in Cognitive Science), Oxford University Press, 2010. Mass Nouns name everything that cannot be counted, things such as liquids (Water, oil) abstract ideas (knowledge, advice) and things too small to be counted (rice, sand). Mass, Count, and Collective Nouns 20 Sep 2019 A mass noun is a grammaticalconstruct Whether a noun is a mass noun has nothing to do with the inherent qualities of the object or objects to which the noun refers car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, freeway, lane (count nouns) traffic (mass noun) Which proper nouns should be capitalized? \�Z�CI��e�:���Z�MJ/�f=�hI0Zttt400D�(F ��"A��P����"�U"`�$~'�� 6��1��b8�����rǛ������|� �4f��H Ҍ@��f|�>�$@� UnB@ Cambridge University Press, November 25, 1994. : A Troubleshooter's Guide to English Style and Usage." Some exceptions do not seem to have a clear explanation, but others may occur because of competing communicative functions of language. Basically, whatever exists, can be named and that name is a noun. Many abstract nouns are uncountable, but not all uncountable nouns are abstract. Then she makes a quiet banshee whine and bounces away on one foot... "It's so simple. Ball is a concrete noun. Keep this fuzziness in mind as you review the following list of 130 mass nouns in English. What are some examples of collective nouns? Therefore, while clothing is not an abstract noun, it is a mass noun. Also, note that a number of these words can be used as more than one part of speech. Ask the hays to find it!". Information and translations of MASS NOUN in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. Or two bags of rice but not two rices? She's really thinking this over. The sentences in parentheses illustrate how the words are used as nouns. The plural of cat was easily formed by adding s, and the number three told us how many. �s�}�].�,��=@a�-. Sign up or log in to Magoosh Professional Writing. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Answer link. Understanding the Types of Verbs in English Grammar, Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia, M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester, B.A., English, State University of New York. We have no idea which cat, just some random cat. Likewise, mass or non-count nouns are those that are either more abstract, or simply not easily quantifiable – at least not without the assistance of quantifying nouns coupled with numbers. where 'is' is singular but used with the plural concept of 'lots of sand'). "Some nouns can serve as both count and mass nouns. You should not overuse such unusual plurals, however, since they can easily become pretentious, as they do in those silly signs announcing ice creams and hair stylings. Also, note that a number of these words can be used as more than one part of speech. 6154 views 100 Key Terms Used in the Study of Grammar, Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia, M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester, B.A., English, State University of New York, "I seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the. ", Robin Sloan, "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore", "'Hi there,' I say. These mass nouns (which are sometimes called noncount nouns) usually have only singular forms—spaghetti, rice, and gold, for example. A-F Uncountable Nouns. In its most simple form, you can think about count nouns as more concrete nouns – and of course, nouns that can be counted. For example, the word water is usually treated as a mass noun, but in some contexts water can take the -s ending: "Hammerhead sharks are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves.". ", "English nouns denoting things that cannot be counted, such as wine, coffee, and intelligence, do not easily form plurals in their central senses.

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