mass noun


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uncountable noun

Nouns that cannot be divided or counted as individual elements or separate parts are called uncountable nouns (also known as mass nouns or non-count nouns). These can be tangible objects (such as substances or collective categories of things), or intangible or abstract things, such as concepts or ideas. Nouns that can be divided are called countable nouns, or simply count nouns.
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mass noun

n.
A noun, such as furniture, water, or honesty, that cannot be modified by the indefinite article, does not occur in the plural, and is often preceded by modifiers such as some or much or by a phrase containing a unit of measurement. Some nouns can function both as mass nouns (There are sixty boxes of tile in the warehouse) and as count nouns (We had to cut a tile in half to fit the end of the row). Also called noncount noun. See Usage Note at collective noun.

mass noun

n
(Linguistics) a noun that refers to an extended substance rather than to each of a set of isolable objects, as, for example, water as opposed to lake. In English when used indefinitely they are characteristically preceded by some rather than a or an; they do not have normal plural forms. Compare count noun

mass′ noun`


n.
a noun, as water, electricity, or happiness, that typically refers to an indefinitely divisible substance or an abstract notion and that in English cannot be used, in such a sense, with the indefinite article or in the plural. Compare count noun.
[1930–35]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mass noun - a noun that does not form pluralsmass noun - a noun that does not form plurals  
noun - a content word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or action
Translations
denombre incontablesustancia
ainesana
nom massif
niet-telbaar substantiefniet-telbaar zelfstandig naamwoord
References in periodicals archive ?
Perceiving pstrqg in Polish culture and trout in English culture either as count or mass noun depends on "various hypothetical machines, or rules of construal, for dealing with the occurrences of one and the same noun in different contexts" (Koptjevskaja-Tamm 2004: 1067).
Nevertheless, it is rather hard to define what we consider a mass noun.
Example (8b) gold with a definite NP is only acceptable with a specific reading, but, as gold is a mass noun the use of the indefinite article is ungrammatical in example (8c).
As noted both by Wagner (2005) and Hernandez (2011), gendered pronouns are not commonly applied to mass noun referents.
Minimal parts can be illustrated for the mass noun 'water' in the following way.
What we find here is that twice must be used in place of two times in the (a) sentences and also in the (b) sentences, involving as many as (for a countable noun such as kangaroos) or as much as (for a mass noun such as money).
Eall precedes a countable noun in (42) and a mass noun in (43):
Thus, you can figure that data must be a mass noun, and singular.
Because it can also be used as a mass noun, the user has indicated that.
In addition, the suffix -chen can turn a mass noun into a count noun, thus functioning as a classifier (15b).
This/that are optionally singular, and so may take either a count or a mass noun, but not the plural inflexion.
Linguistically, we distinguish between thing terms and stuff terms, where, roughly, "thing" is a count noun, and "stuff" is a mass noun.