Lesson 47: MASS NOUNS

Mass nouns do not have a singular or plural form (Lesson 45). We cannot say a water or three waters; we just say water


Important mass nouns

ALL LIQUIDS
coffee, juice, gas, milk, oil, tea, soup, water

SOME FOOD
butter, cheese, flour, food, fruit, rice, honey, meat, parsley, toast, sugar, salt

MATERIALS
cotton, leather, gold, metal, paper, wood

ABSTRACTS
advice, education, information, knowledge, homework, life, love, music, news, time

ALSO
furniture, hair, luggage, money, weather


How to count mass nouns

For many mass nouns (except liquids), we can use bit:

a bit of advice
a little bit of salt
two bits of cheese

For many mass nouns (except liquids and some abstracts), we can use piece:

a piece of bread
two pieces of information

For liquids and some food, we can use containers:

a jar of honey
three cups of coffee
a bottle of water

For liquids, food and material, we can use measuring words:

ten litres of gas
fifty grams of sugar

NOTICE: It is correct to say two coffees, please in a cafe because we understand two cups of coffee.

NOTICE: Lesson 56 shows you other words to use with mass nouns.


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