Mass Noun

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A Mass Noun is a Noun that does not have a Plural Form and refers to something that is Countable.


    • 1. A noun that normally cannot be counted.
      • In English, mass nouns, such as information and money, usually have no plural form and are almost never used with the indefinite article a or an.
    • Usage notes
      • Some mass nouns, such as whisky, can also be count nouns when they refer to a variety (“Scotch and Canadian whiskys”) or in informal usage to denote a serving (“please bring us two whiskys”).
  • (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒
    • In linguistics, a mass noun (also uncountable noun or non-count noun) is a common noun that presents entities as an unbounded mass. Given that different languages have different grammatical resources, the actual test for which nouns are mass nouns may vary from language to language. 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). Thus, the mass noun "water" is quantified as "20 liters of water" while the count noun "chair" is quantified as "20 chairs." However, mass nouns (like count nouns) can be quantified in relative terms without unit specification (e.g., "much water," "many chairs").
    • Some mass nouns can be used in English in the plural to mean "more than one sort of that substance", e.g. "Many cleaning agents today are technically not soaps, but detergents" in the page Soap.
    • Sometimes a noun has both a mass sense and a count sense (for example, paper).