Pieces and Amounts

There are many words which are used in front of of and an uncountable noun to refer to a piece of something or a particular amount of something. The most common words are given here.

Substances

Some words can be used to refer to a piece or amount of many kinds of substance:
  • atom
  • ball
  • bit
  • block
  • chunk
  • crumb
  • dab
  • dash
  • dollop
  • flake
  • fragment
  • heap
  • hunk
  • lump
  • mass
  • molecule
  • mound
  • mountain
  • patch
  • particle
  • piece
  • pile
  • pinch
  • ring
  • roll
  • scrap
  • sheet
  • shred
  • slab
  • slice
  • sliver
  • speck
  • splinter
  • stick
  • strip
  • trace
  • tuft
  • wad
  • wedge
  • wodge
She threw another bit of wood into the fire.
The soup was delicious, with lumps of chicken, and chunks of potato and cabbage.

Liquids

Some words are used to refer to an amount of a liquid:
  • dash
  • dribble
  • drop
  • globule
  • jet
  • pool
  • puddle
  • splash
  • spot
  • trickle
Rub a drop of vinegar into the spot where you were stung.
One fireman was kneeling down in a great pool of oil.

Food

Helping, portion, and serving are used when talking about the amount of a particular kind of food that you are given at a meal.
He had two helpings of ice-cream.
I chose a large portion of local salmon.
You can refer to a very small piece of food as a morsel of food.
He had a morsel of food caught between one tooth and another.

Measurements and containers

You can also refer to an amount of something using a measurement noun such as pound or metre, or a noun referring to a container such as bottle or box.
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