Mass nouns and regular nouns, often known as "count nouns" or "countable nouns," are difficult to distinguish from one another.
Mass nouns, usually referred to as "uncountable nouns" or "noncount nouns," are nouns that designate uncountable objects. It is wrong to use "bloods" or "clothings" when referring to mass nouns, which are common instances of nouns with plural forms like "blood" and "clothes."
Even for English language professionals, it may be quite irritating at times. Therefore, we cover all you need to know about how mass nouns function and how to distinguish them from other nouns in this book.
Mass nouns always use the singular form
Mass nouns don’t have plural forms, so they always use the singular form. That means you never add -s or -es to the end.
If a mass noun is the subject of a sentence, the verb should also be singular to maintain subject-verb agreement.
The sand burn my feet.
The sand burns my feet.
Mass nouns don’t use numbers.
Countable nouns often use numbers to show how many there are, such as “two trucks” or “10,000 trees.” Mass nouns, however, do not use numbers; if you want to specify an exact amount, usually you can add a new word like “pieces” or “types.” A lot of mass nouns have specific words for when you want to separate them, like “slices” or “loaves” for bread or “grains” for sand, salt, wheat, and rice.
I’d like two breads please.
I’d like two loaves of bread, please.
Mass nouns don’t use indefinite articles (a or an)
Just like with numbers, you can’t use mass nouns with the indefinite articles a and an. You can, however, use the definite article the.
An air is stale.
The air is stale.
You're not the only one who doesn't know which terms are mass nouns and which aren't. The most popular mass nouns in English are listed below, organised by category. It will be simpler to recognise them in reading and conversation as you become more accustomed to these lists. You can also download our app from the playstore or visit our website.