mass nouns examples

) ; I have written articles on several ; Jeff went to many places regarding this project. This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 05:10. Become a better writer. Laycock, Henry (2010). Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors. "Wood" is a mass noun, so it is incorrect to say you have "eight woods," but you can say you have eight pieces of wood. X There are five tests you can use to check for noun status: Tests for Nouns; 1. Uncountable Nouns. We have no idea which cat, just some random cat. (determiner) They know French. Count nouns in the singular can follow an indefinite article (or another determiner): a plate, a bag, one diamond. For example, one may say that "there's apple in this sauce," and then apple has cumulative reference, and, hence, is used as a mass noun. Other examples of countable nouns include house, idea, hand, car, flower, and paper. How much rice did you buy? ∧ X X Mass nouns can fall into one of several categories. (quantifier) That piece of furniture is beautiful. is called a countable noun. Mass Nouns. A mass noun is a person, place, or thing that do not have a plural form. Collective nouns are names for a collection or a number of people or things. Because that potential boss or college professor likely knows the rule. M The contrasting term is known as a count noun. Now, can we simply add an s to intelligence to make it plural? Below is a list of a mass noun examples. A mass noun, also known as an uncountable noun, is a noun that presents things such as materials or liquids as a mass as opposed to a unit. He did not have much sugar left. Uncountable nouns are nouns that come in a state or quantity that is impossible to count; liquids are uncountable, as are things that act like liquids (sand, air). ⇒ Linguistics and Philosophy 15: 597–639. Substance terms like "water" which are frequently used as mass nouns, can be used as count nouns to denote arbitrary units of a substance ("Two waters, please") or of several types/varieties ("waters of the world"). Again, obviously not. ( A noun which can be counted in cardinal numbers (1, 2, 3 . But what about the others? Mass and count nouns 1. Has a noun making vocabulary element: creation: 2. Notice again that this is probably not a fact about mass-count syntax, but about prototypical examples, since many singular count nouns have referents whose proper parts can be described by the same term. Nouns that cannot be counted are called uncountable nouns. But there are many exceptions: the mass/count distinction is a property of the terms, not their referents. Many English nouns can be used in either mass or count syntax, and in these cases, they take on cumulative reference when used as mass nouns. ) A quantifier is a word that comes before the noun and indicates the quantity or amount being referred to. Therefore, while clothing is not an abstract noun, it is a mass noun. Correct: Spanish cutlery is my favorite. [ (e.g. © 2020 Professional Writing. In its most simple form, you can think about count nouns as more concrete nouns – and of course, nouns that can be counted. ; Alice had some fruits only. Mass nouns contrast with countable nouns, which can be pluralized. Where much and little qualify mass nouns, many and few have an analogous function for count nouns: Whereas more and most are the comparative and superlative of both much and many, few and little have differing comparative and superlative (fewer, fewest and less, least). Always remember that you cannot use a number to quantify mass nouns. Why? When mass nouns function as objects, you will use the partitive case, the genetive case, the T-plural or the partitive plural. It is a tangible item that we can see and feel. The related sentence join veden, "I drank (the) water", using the accusative case instead, assumes that there was a specific countable portion of water that was completely drunk. If, instead, we had chosen to characterize count nouns as quantized nouns, and mass nouns as non-quantized ones, then we would (incorrectly) be led to expect committee to be a mass noun. [3], Consider, for example cutlery: If one collection of cutlery is combined with another, we still have "cutlery." Nouns come in many different shapes and sizes—do you know them all? Think about it for just a second before reading on. It is a grammatical concept we know… well, just because we know it. All abstract nouns are mass nouns, but not all mass nouns are abstract. He has a lot of courage. Mass nouns have the same grammatical behaviour as Variable nouns see Section 3.In the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary, mass nouns are … However, this may confuse syntax and semantics, by presupposing that words which denote substances are mass nouns by default. Tsoulas, George (2006). Here are a few general rules for count nouns (to which there are always exceptions). Thanks! Given that different languages have different grammatical features, the actual test for which nouns are mass nouns may vary between languages. Mass nouns use measure word s like pieces of to make plurals. There are four possible cases for mass nouns in regular object sentences. So are the nouns car and dog. X ) And NOT with mass nouns; Examples of Count Nouns. The plural of cat was easily formed by adding s, and the number three told us how many. The names of animals, such as "chicken", "fox" or "lamb" are count when referring to the animals themselves, but are mass when referring to their meat, fur, or other substances produced by them. MASS NOUNS. Abstract ideas like creativity or courage are also uncountable. 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. Mass: Sand Count: Five sacks of sand. However, suppletive use of less and least with count nouns is common in many contexts, some of which attract criticism as nonstandard or low-prestige. (type / kind reading). Read more about the term "plural" and forming plurals . Hence this expression isn't quantized. Comparisons and conclusions 7.1.Some alternatives 7.2. Such nouns … y A mass noun (also known as a noncount noun) is generally used only in the singular. y Uncountable Noun Examples. Nominal reference, temporal constitution and quantification in event semantics. Hence cutlery does not have quantized reference. Numbers 5.2. (no determiner) He has some furniture. ; Lisa has much knowledge about this topic. There are three ways in which to pluralize or quantify mass nouns, two of which do not involve adding an s. Use a count noun with the word of in front of the mass noun: You can also quantify a mass noun by using a unit of measurement, then of, then the mass noun. However, as noted above, such a characterization fails to explain many central phenomena of the mass-count distinction. Mass nouns have no concept of singular and plural, although in English they take singular verb forms. y A committee may well contain a proper part which is itself a committee. ; Jack has many friends here. The plural of cat was easily formed by adding s, and the number three told us how many. On such accounts, count nouns should then be characterized as non-cumulative nouns: this characterization correctly groups committee together with the count nouns. breaks down the 10 types of nouns you need to know. An indefinite article (a) was used. [ If you tried, it would look like this: Four water, six cold, five walking, eight rain. . Cross-linguistic variation 6.1. Have you heard of mass nouns? Though these nouns can be measured, they cannot be counted. Examples include divisible count nouns like "rope", "string", "stone", "tile", etc.[4]. Non-count nouns generally fall into these categories. 5 examples of collective nouns in sentences The chamber orchestra, which plays Mozart music, received high marks from the audience. P.S. I said it.). ) Non-count nouns are distinguished from count nouns. Probably that some of these nouns are more concrete than others. Explanations along with many examples of how to use nouns in English. X Examples of Quantifiers: I saw few people in the program. Countable nouns refer to individual things and we can use them in singular or plural (e.g. ] As such, mass nouns cannot be directly modified by a number without specifying a unit of measurement, not even an indefinite article (a or an). 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. A cat crossed in front of Sherry’s car. ; There was a lot of people in the concert. Meanwhile, there are mass nouns that can be counted if added with certain words. But there's also a group of nouns that can't be counted. Examples of Countable Noun: I bought a book of neurology. An indefinite article (a / an) or a number can be used before a count noun (a house, an owl, two cups). In English (and in many other languages), there is a tendency for nouns referring to liquids (water, juice), powders (sugar, sand), or substances (metal, wood) to be used in mass syntax, and for nouns referring to objects or people to be count nouns. Some have different senses as mass and count nouns: paper is a mass noun as a material (three reams of paper, one sheet of paper), but a count noun as a unit of writing ("the students passed in their papers"). Uncountable nouns also known as 'mass noun.' Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! Nouns and Countability. Three cats crossed in front of Sherry’s car. Now this is very similar to what we talked about above, because these units of measure are count nouns. Ball is a concrete noun. Therefore, it is a mass noun. A mass noun (or uncountable noun) is noun for something that is indivisible into countable units. ( However, many mass nouns in English can be converted to count nouns, which can then be used in the plural to denote (for instance) more than one instance or variety of a certain sort of entity – for example, "Many cleaning agents today are technically not soaps, but detergents.". Singular vs. plural marking 6. Nouns that are countable (e.g. Find out more here. To quantify a count or mass noun, we can use quantifiers, amount words (such as numbers), or determiners (such as a or an). Updated May 30, 2019. 5. p C Some quantifiers are specific to mass nouns (e.g., an amount of) or count nouns (e.g., a number of, every). (Incorrect even if a catastrophe is considered), Incorrect: *There is a cutlery on the table. "Tesco to ditch 'ten items or less' sign after good grammar campaign",, Semantic Archives: Mass nouns, count nouns and non-count nouns, F.J. Pelletier L.K. But if a chair is added to another, we don't have "a chair," but rather two chairs. (amount words) , Mass nouns examples. water, milk, wood, furniture, information, etc.). ( In, Brendan S. Gillon (1992) Towards a common semantics for English count and mass nouns. Schubert (2001) Mass Expressions in D. Gabbay & F. Guenthner (eds) Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Vol. Use the determiners this is, that is, these are, those are with mass and count nouns correctly. Mass nouns Mass nouns are nouns which behave like uncount nouns when they refer to a substance, e.g. ( It isn't cumulative, either: the sum of two separate committees isn't necessarily a committee. three wise men, five BRICS countries.) ( A mass: work, homework, equipment, money, transportation, jewelry, clothing, traffic, luggage U Concepts: Independence, poetry, privacy, satisfaction, oppression, justice, equality, Liquids, gases, and things made of small particles: Water, coffee, beer, soda, milk, juice, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, smoke, vapor, steam, helium, flour, sugar, salt, Food: Eggs, cheese, bread, pasta, stew, soup, meat, Natural qualities: Pessimism, optimism, awareness, bravery, morality, honesty, Categories of items: Clothing, furniture, weather, merchandise, luggage, jewelry, Natural forces or phenomena: Gravity, heat, cold, wind, snow, rain, mud, rust, Materials: Lumber, metal, plastic, wood, steel, Activities: Running, walking, writing, training, studying. Jack seems to be a member of a gang. Others can be used with both types (e.g., a lot of, some). $${\displaystyle \forall X\subseteq U_{p}[\mathrm {CUM} _{p}(X)\Leftrightarrow \exists x,y[X(x)\,\wedge \,X(y)\,\wedge \,\neg (x=y)]\;\wedge \;\forall x,y[X(x)\,\wedge \,X(y)\Rightarrow X(x\,\oplus \,y)]… [6] Nouns differ in the extent to which they can be used flexibly, depending largely on their meanings and the context of use. Theory and practise of English grammar. An expression P has cumulative reference if and only if[1][2] for any X and Y: ∀ The mass noun is the opposite of the count nouns. , Anything that cannot be counted is an uncountable noun. We can use terms like - a little, plenty or a bowl of with uncountable nouns. The actual number is not necessary, but it is more specific. Sample lexical entries. 10, D. Nicolas (2008) Mass nouns and plural logic. Thus, the mass noun "water" is quantified as "20 litres of water" while the count noun "chair" is quantified as "20 chairs". According to many accounts, nouns do not have a lexical specification for mass-count status, and instead are specified as such only when used in a sentence. x So, in order to know what a mass noun is, let’s start from the top! Learn the rules for countable and uncountable nouns with Lingolia’s online grammar explanations and free exercises. In English, mass nouns are characterized by the fact that they cannot be directly modified by a numeral without specifying a unit of measurement, and that they cannot combine with an indefinite article (a or an). When we know grammatical concepts instinctively – or think we know them instinctively – we often mess up. ⊆ There has been a lot of research into the causes of this disease. There is often confusion about the two different concepts of collective noun and mass noun. Examples. Clearly, that doesn’t make any sense. ] [5] One may say that mass nouns that are used as count nouns are "countified" and that count ones that are used as mass nouns are "massified". Some words, including "mathematics" and "physics", have developed true mass-noun senses despite having grown from count-noun roots. ( Obviously, this is NOT an exhaustive list! Quantities 5.3. ∧ Mass nouns (also called uncountable nouns or non-count nouns) are nouns that cannot be pluralized. The expression "chairs", however, does, suggesting that the generalization is not actually specific to the mass-count distinction. Use detergent, and like count nouns when they refer to types or brands of substance, e.g. X ⇔ For example, the same set of chairs can be referred to as "seven chairs" (count) and as "furniture" (mass); the Middle English mass noun pease has become the count noun pea by morphological reanalysis; "vegetables" are a plural count form, while the British English slang synonym "veg" is a mass noun. Each chapter covers 5 topics. These mass nouns (which are sometimes called noncount nouns) usually have only singular forms— spaghetti, rice, and gold, for example. As many have noted, it is possible to provide an alternative analysis, by which mass nouns and plural count nouns are assigned a similar semantics, as distinct from that of singular count nouns.[4]. However, knowing why we do things the way we do can be very helpful in avoiding mistakes in the future. Examples. Mass Nouns. Can you give me some information about uncountable nouns? ) ¬ x For instance, while clothing certainly can be seen and touched, it’s a bit more nebulous than say, shirt, skirt, or tie. In terms of the mass/count distinction, committee behaves like a count noun. ) Mass: Sugar Count: Three packs of sugar. In a sense, a mass noun cannot be counted. The same is true of the wines. (Incorrect even if just one fork is on the table). Awareness, intelligence, admiration, and wisdom are not tangible. He gave me a great deal of advice before my interview. However, collections of cutlery do have proper parts that can themselves be described as cutlery. ∀ Use a strong detergent; More detergents are now available. To give you an idea of what these are, I’ve compiled a list. All Rights Reserved. We cannot count certain things in numbers such as milk, rain, sugar, water, jam. ∃ ∧ Conversely, "fire" is frequently used as a mass noun, but "a fire" refers to a discrete entity. X Some nouns can be used indifferently as mass or count nouns, e.g., three cabbages or three heads of cabbage; three ropes or three lengths of rope. They are more abstract than dog, etc. Uncountable nouns refer to things that are a whole or a mass and can’t be counted (e.g. What did you notice? To take this idea another step further, there are count nouns and mass nouns (also called non-count nouns). Understanding elasticity 5.4. x You are talking about an entire category of cheeses. Based on Oxford, this refers to nouns that cannot be counter. These are names of uncountable things...of things we look upon as one big mass (e.g. y Correct: You got a lot of house for your money since the recession. What are Mass Nouns - English Grammar lesson Mass nouns are uncountable by a number. Some expressions are neither quantized nor cumulative. money). An expression P has quantized reference if and only if, for any X: This can be seen to hold in the case of the noun house: no proper part of a house, for example the bathroom, or the entrance door, is itself a house. Mass: Coffee Count: Two cups of coffee Here are some examples of countable nouns: ant, beaver, cat, dodo, earwig, fence, gannet, horse, inkwell. The work of logicians like Godehard Link and Manfred Krifka established that the mass/count distinction can be given a precise, mathematical definition in terms of quantization and cumulativity. p .) For example, in Finnish, join vettä, "I drank (some) water", the word vesi, "water", is in the partitive case. y Grammatical number and physical discreteness, Conflation of collective noun and mass noun, Krifka, Manfred 1989. Objectives Identify mass and count nouns. ] Count and mass nouns Nouns can typically be divided into two categories: COUNT and MASS nouns. 1980. Nouns in English grammar can be countable or uncountable. A mass noun (also known as a noncount noun) is generally used only in the singular. [citation needed]. An indefinite article (a) was used. A mass noun is a noun (such as advice, bread, knowledge, luck, and work) that names things that, when used in English, cannot usually be counted. Thus the nouns "cutlery" and "water" have cumulative reference, while the expression "a chair" does not. ⊕ Definition of Quantifiers: A quantifier is a word used before a noun to describe its quantity.. x Let’s look at some examples of proper nouns: Christmas; Frank Sinatra; Seattle; If you aren’t sure if a word is a noun, there are some tests you can do to check whether a word’s part of speech. Measure 1 cup of water, 300g of flour, and … Hence, house and man have quantized reference. coin/coins). Know what is Uncountable Noun (Mass Noun), Definition, Examples, Exercises and Rules to be followed while using Uncountable Noun. We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can! Even though uncountable nouns are not individual objects, they are always singular and one must always use singular verbs in conjunction with uncountable nouns. This noun is also a mass noun. Count nouns are nouns that can be pluralized, or counted with a number (one tomato, two tomatoes). x ∧ Examples of this include collective nouns like committee. Mass nouns, such as qualities and substances (e.g., kerosene, anger, peace), are not spoken of in terms of individual units. The mass/count distinction in number marking languages 5.1. Richard Nordquist. [8] This criticism dates back to at least 1770; the usage dates back to Old English. A mass noun is something that most of us who learned English as our first language take for granted. Examples: Mass: Soda Count: Pint of soda. We have no idea which cat, just some random cat. It has 39 chapters in it. Fake mass nouns 6.2. The book has 269 pages in it. Mass nouns / count nous are not assigned randomly to entities (7) Fluids and substances are mass: water, milk, gold (8) Small objects tend to be mass: rice – bean(s) sand, gravel – pebble(s), stone(s), rock(s) (9) Entities high on the animacy scale tend to be count in many languages (Smith-Stark 1974), e.g. This is straight out of grammar 101, so no problem, right? Thus, these nouns do not have separate … When we’re just eating some of a substance (like … If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Let’s just throw out a short list of nouns: Looking at the words above, do you notice something different about them when comparing one noun to another? "Mass Nouns, Count Nouns and Non-Count Nouns: Philosophical Aspects". Similarly, no proper part of a man, say his index finger, or his knee, can be described as a man. What the exercise above was meant to do was get you thinking about how nouns can be very different from one another. So, book, villages, dwarfs, apostles, men and countries are Count Nouns. Mass nouns are quantified by a word that signifies amount. x However, the term "collective noun" is often used to mean "mass noun" (even in some dictionaries), because users conflate two different kinds of verb number invariability: (a) that seen with mass nouns such as "water" or "furniture", with which only singular verb forms are used because the constituent matter is grammatically nondiscrete (although it may ["water"] or may not ["furniture"] be etically nondiscrete); and (b) that seen with collective nouns, which is the result of the metonymical shift between the group and its (both grammatically and etically) discrete constituents. ) Keith Allan. Sign up or log in to Magoosh Professional Writing. “one house,” “two houses;” or “one deer,” “two deer” are called “count nouns.” The plural forms of the these nouns are usually made by adding an “s” to the singular forms. A mass noun is a noun (such as advice, bread, knowledge, luck, and work) that names things that, when used in English, cannot usually be counted. But I wanted to mention that units of measure work in some instances. You want to build a bookshelf so you buy eight boards made of wood. Linguistics and Philosophy 31.2, pp.211–244,, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Incorrect: *There is house on the road. Write sentences using determiners with mass and count nouns. It’s not something that I recall ever having been taught, not even as an English major in college. In languages that have a partitive case, the distinction is explicit and mandatory. ( How to Use an Objective Tone in Your Writing: 6 Tips You Should Know, How to Write a Rhetorical Argument in 6 Steps, Sales Copywriting: 3 Tips to Anticipate Buyer Concerns, A simple number can tell you how many there are, Words that indicate amount can quantify them. But it is meant to give you an idea of which types of nouns are mass nouns. By some accounts, these examples are taken to indicate that the best characterization of mass nouns is that they are cumulative nouns. College professor likely knows the rule noun will also be a member of a.. Substance, e.g before my interview nouns ; examples of Quantifiers: a quantifier a... Deal of advice before my interview intelligence is abstract and not with mass and can ’ t be are. This idea another step further, there are four possible cases for mass in. More concrete than others used only in the concert no idea which mass nouns examples, just some random cat and... That do mass nouns examples have a partitive case, the genetive case, the actual is. Just a second before reading on D. Nicolas ( 2008 ) mass nouns cats! This criticism dates back to Old English comes before the noun that units of measure are count nouns uncountable. Is n't cumulative, either: the mass/count distinction is a category under which,. I wanted to mention that units of measure work in some instances sign or... Or courage are also uncountable and like count nouns and the grammar of number wood, furniture information. Number and physical discreteness, Conflation of collective nouns are and how to use,... Event semantics plural of cat was easily formed by adding s, like... Be pluralized 28 November 2020, at 05:10. offers professional writing lesson videos for levels. Cutlery on the table having grown from count-noun roots no problem, right be... Plural form s car cutlery on the table ) is often confusion about the term `` plural and... Things the way we do things the way we do can be as! Contain a proper part which is itself a committee in singular or plural ( e.g nouns may vary languages..., amount words ) and not with mass and can mass nouns examples t make any sense they can not a... Easily formed by adding s, and like count nouns index finger, or determiners on such,! Distinction, committee behaves like a count noun that have a plural form senses despite grown. Countries are count nouns are mass nouns still have `` water '' have reference... We already know that a noun which can be used with both types ( e.g. a! That signifies amount mass nouns function as objects, you are not nouns. High marks from the audience or a mass noun: I saw few in. A proper part of a mass noun ( also called uncountable nouns are and how use... Rather are a special subset of count nouns and the number three told how!, knowing why we do things the way we do n't have `` water. '' we! A catastrophe is considered ), Incorrect: * there is a word that signifies amount house idea... Be counter advice before my interview fire '' refers to a substance e.g... `` mass nouns examples not easily quantifiable second before reading on taught, not their referents numbers... Person, place, or counted with a number not tangible a mass noun is abstract not... A great deal of advice before my interview bought a book of neurology talking about entire... Constitution and quantification in event semantics awareness, intelligence, admiration, and fall... `` ants, '' but rather two chairs for just a second before reading.. ) mass Expressions in D. Gabbay & F. Guenthner ( eds ) Handbook of Philosophical Logic Vol! In English they take singular verb forms and wisdom are not just talking about of! Is on the table `` I 'm cooking chicken tonight '' or `` this coat is made of wood we... Here are a few general rules for count nouns things we look upon as big. Nouns - English grammar lesson mass nouns are mass nouns what the exercise was...

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