mass noun

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Related to Non-count noun: mass noun, Modal verb

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 ?
right arrow] plural noun An [right arrow] singular noun [right arrow] non-count noun Ann needs an umbrella.
Meanwhile, wheat is a non-count noun denoting the substance.
The non-count nouns can be reformulated as countable in partitive expressions (PART), such as a piece of advice, among which are collective nouns (COL), for example, a school in a school of cod.
When compared with Standard American English, the language used by the women in this study demonstrates anomalies in the use of irregular forms of nouns and verbs, grammatical inconsistencies surrounding the use of non-count nouns, and subject-verb agreement errors, in addition to a few other miscellaneous divergences from standard usage, which will also be exemplified below.
In the singular, count nouns can use an indefinite article, whereas non-count nouns do not use one (Carter--McCarthy 2006: 339).
The paper concludes that this feature of indefinite articles allows non-count nouns to shift towards less typical usage of the words, giving English expressions more subtlety that nicely accommodates basic human cognition, although these nouns could still be considered uncountable rather than countable.
The common nouns that apply to individual substances are count nouns, while those that apply to stuffs are non-count nouns (32).

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