What Are Mass Nouns? (with Examples)
What Are Mass Nouns? (with Examples)A mass noun (or non-countable noun or noncount noun as it's also known) is a noun without a plural form.
A mass noun is one that cannot be counted. For example:
|Mass Noun>||Attempt At Making It Plural|
Non-countable nouns are singular.
Examples of Mass NounsMost mass nouns come under one of these categories:
|Concept||gallantry, morality, information, aptitude, patience|
|Activity||homework, singing, reading, fishing|
|Food||bread, butter, cheese, fish, milk|
|Gas||air, helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, smoke|
|Liquid||beer, coffee, petrol, water, wine|
|Material||cloth, concrete, lumber, wood, metal|
|Item Category||clothing, furniture, luggage, money|
|Natural Phenomenon||gravity, heat, humidity, rain, snow, sunshine, thunder|
|Particles||flour, grit, salt, sugar|
Pluralizing Mass NounsThere are two methods to pluralize a concept expressed by a mass noun:
Method 1: Precede it with a [countable noun] + "of". For example:
- four loaves of bread (Loaves is the countable noun.)
- four blocks of cheese (blocks is the countable noun.)
- four bread loaves
- four cheese blocks
- France is well known for its cheeses. (Categories of cheese)
- There are several fine wines from Chile. (Categories of wine)
Use Amount of with a Mass NounUse amount of with a mass noun. The terms quantity of and number of are used with countable nouns. For example:
- Amount of sunshine
- Quantity of wood
Some Adjectives Don't Work with Mass NounsThe following adjectives cannot precede a mass noun: these, those, each, every, either, and neither.
These adjectives are either for plural nouns or for plural ideas.
Read more about demonstrative adjectives.
Read more about indefinite adjectives.