y In linguistics, a mass noun, uncountable noun, or non-count noun is a noun with the syntactic property that any quantity of it is treated as an undifferentiated unit, rather than as something with discrete elements. Others can be used with both types (e.g., a lot of, some). Non-count nouns cannot be counted - you cannot add a number in front of them, and they cannot be made plural. See more. M In the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary, mass nouns are labelled N-VAR. Plurality of mass nouns and the grammar of number. x Definition of mass noun written for English Language Learners from the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary with audio pronunciations, usage examples, and count/noncount noun labels. Define mass noun. See mass noun in the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary 2 n-count In some descriptions of grammar, a … Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share … ", "Is there a conceptual basis for the grammatical distinction between count nouns and mass nouns? Another answer is that the grammatical distinction between count and mass nouns is to a very large degree conceptually based. The companies that develop these programs are called software companies. According to many accounts, nouns do not have a lexical specification for mass-count status, and instead are specified as such only when used in a sentence. Definition of mass written for English Language Learners from the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary with audio pronunciations, usage examples, and count/noncount noun labels. Mass Noun meaning and example sentences with mass noun. A round mass. The opposite of a count noun is a non-count noun, or a group noun. Sloan, Robin. 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). Top definition is 'a noun that does not form plurals'. Classified under: Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents. 'Let me ask you a question.' Meat is usually more expensive than cheese. ) Paper here is a mass noun (Grammar Handbook), which means that, rather than being a countable quantity of leaves, paper (and therefore the noun phrase charred paper) refers to the material of the mass.The material is being emphasized, rather than the form of the leaf or page. Another word for mass. Definition of mass noun. 2. Noun. However, as noted above, such a characterization fails to explain many central phenomena of the mass-count distinction. [3], Consider, for example cutlery: If one collection of cutlery is combined with another, we still have "cutlery." ⊆ … Noun definition is - any member of a class of words that typically can be combined with determiners to serve as the subject of a verb, can be interpreted as singular or plural, can be replaced with a pronoun, and refer to an entity, quality, state, action, or concept. faculty (mass noun—professors) faculties (collective noun—person’s senses or intellect) To recap: Most mass nouns are treated as singular in English and take a singular verb Making a mass noun plural may completely change the meaning of the word (e. g., damage, damages) With stone or some stone, the mass-noun uses, noun phrase refers to the material; with stones, the count-noun use, the noun phrase refers to individual items. Count noun - I will take any books that you have. y Here's how you say it. Another word for mass. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more. mass-produce verb. "Tesco to ditch 'ten items or less' sign after good grammar campaign", https://www.scribd.com/doc/53696109/0080965008-Concise-Encyclopedia-of-Philosophy-of-Language, Semantic Archives: Mass nouns, count nouns and non-count nouns, F.J. Pelletier L.K. relative atomic mass noun. Find more ways to say mass, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. Non-count nouns are distinguished from count nouns. A noun is a naming word. ThoughtCo. The mass noun is the opposite of the count nouns. Non-count nouns are distinguished from count nouns. A mass noun is a noun such as ' wine ' which is usually uncount but is used with 'a' or 'an' or used in the plural when it refers to types of that substance, as in 'a range of Australian wines'. You should not overuse such unusual plurals, however, since they can easily become pretentious, as they do in those silly signs announcing ice creams and hair stylings. ∃ Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-mass-noun-1691370. Names of people or places such as your name, your friend's name, your parents' name … : a noun that denotes a homogeneous substance or a concept without subdivisions and that in English is preceded in indefinite singular constructions by some rather than a or an "sand" and "water" are mass nouns — compare count noun. ( In English, mass nouns are characterized by the fact that they cannot be directly modified by a numeral without specifying a unit of measurement, and that they cannot combine with an indefinite article (a or an). mass noun: 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. With stone or some stone, the mass-noun uses, noun phrase refers to the material; with stones, the count-noun use, the noun phrase refers to individual items. ⇔ mass (genitive massu, partitive massu) tax, payment; Inflection Hurford, James R. "Grammar: A Student's Guide." A mass noun is a noun such as 'wine' which is usually uncount but is used with 'a' or 'an' or used in the plural when it refers to types of that substance, as in 'a range of Australian wines.' A third answer and the one that I propose is that the count-mass noun distinction is to a very large degree conceptually based, but there are exceptions. 'How would you find a needle in a haystack?'. An expression P has cumulative reference if and only if[1][2] for any X and Y: ∀ Some of them, however, can be pluralized when they have transferred senses, such as varieties (Rhone wines), measures (four coffees), or embodiments (alien intelligences). Non-count noun - Don't get any dirt on the floor. Some words, including "mathematics" and "physics", have developed true mass-noun senses despite having grown from count-noun roots. In terms of the mass/count distinction, committee behaves like a count noun. X p Examples include divisible count nouns like "rope", "string", "stone", "tile", etc.[4]. She's really thinking this over. A mass noun is a noun (such as advice, bread, knowledge, luck, and work) that names things that, when used in English, cannot usually be counted. When a mass noun in the singular or uncount form is the Subject of a verb, the verb is singular. , An uncountable noun (also known as a mass noun) is one that cannot be counted. mass nouns). X Learn more. A noun that normally cannot be counted.. mass noun synonyms: non-count noun, uncountable noun. Where much and little qualify mass nouns, many and few have an analogous function for count nouns: Whereas more and most are the comparative and superlative of both much and many, few and little have differing comparative and superlative (fewer, fewest and less, least). Generally, collective nouns are not mass nouns, but rather are a special subset of count nouns. For example, bread is used as a mass noun in the shop sells several different breads. Substance terms like "water" which are frequently used as mass nouns, can be used as count nouns to denote arbitrary units of a substance ("Two waters, please") or of several types/varieties ("waters of the world"). Language, 56(3):41-67. "Mass Nouns, Count Nouns and Non-Count Nouns: Philosophical Aspects". An uncountable noun is also known as a mass noun. Nouns and Countability. The Macmillan Dictionary seems to confirm my guess, suggesting that "paint" is only a count noun in the meaning a set of small blocks or tubes containing paint of different colors that you use for making pictures. mass-produced adjective. ... Plural number noun - It stands for more than one person, animal, thing or place. Count nouns, as they're called, have both singular and plural forms, such as "one diamond " and "four diamonds." Trask, R. L. "Mind the Gaffe! Noun Definition | Meaning. There is, however, a distinction in meaning. Meaning: A noun that does not form plurals. What does bolus mean? In linguistics, a mass noun (also uncountable noun or non-count noun) is a noun with the syntactic property that any quantity of it is treated as an undifferentiated unit, rather than as something with discrete subsets. ] We can use the same uncountable noun in different partitive expressions with different meanings. Many abstract nouns are uncountable, but not all uncountable nouns are abstract. Find definitions for: mass' noun" Pronunciation: 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. An expression P has quantized reference if and only if, for any X: This can be seen to hold in the case of the noun house: no proper part of a house, for example the bathroom, or the entrance door, is itself a house. atomic mass noun. An example of mass noun is motherhood. Some well-known software programs include Acrobat, Photoshop, and Excel. The noun war is an example. What is a noun? A noun denoting something that cannot be counted (e.g. This page has lots of examples of mass nouns and two interactive tests. ( In some descriptions of grammar, a mass noun is the same as an uncount noun . Linguistics and Philosophy 31.2, pp.211–244, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mass_noun&oldid=995547076, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Incorrect: *There is house on the road. Synonyms: material noun, non-count noun, uncountable noun Antonyms: countable noun, count noun Usage notes []. Some quantifiers are specific to mass nouns (e.g., an amount of) or count nouns (e.g., a number of, every). ∧ ; Usage. For example, a loaf of bread and a slice of bread are partitive expressions with different meanings. That is when speakers use count nouns to refer to things they implicitly have something in mind that they are trying to communicate that is common across all uses of count nouns. In English, mass nouns, such as information and money, may have no plural form (for example, *informations is invalid in most varieties of English), and they are not used with the indefinite article or numbers in almost all of their senses. She giggles and nods. A quantifier is a word that comes before the noun and indicates the quantity or amount being referred to. Understanding the Types of Nouns in English Grammar, A List of 130 Mass Nouns (Or Noncount Nouns) in English, Overview of Noncount Nouns in English Grammar. Noun definition, any member of a class of words that can function as the main or only elements of subjects of verbs (A dog just barked), or of objects of verbs or prepositions (to send money from home), and that in English can take plural forms and possessive endings (Three of his buddies want to borrow John's laptop). So air is an uncountable … Hence, house and man have quantized reference. For example, in Finnish, join vettä, "I drank (some) water", the word vesi, "water", is in the partitive case. Paperback, Picador, September 24, 2013. You don’t know. Learn more. In English, mass nouns, such as information and money, may have no plural form (for example, *informations is invalid in most varieties of English), and they are not used with the indefinite … mass noun: Meaning and Definition of. Nordquist, Richard. Uncountable noun can be defined as “They may be the names for abstract ideas or qualities or for physical objects that are too small or too amorphous to be counted (liquids, powders, gases, etc).” Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.) If, instead, we had chosen to characterize count nouns as quantized nouns, and mass nouns as non-quantized ones, then we would (incorrectly) be led to expect committee to be a mass noun. Find more ways to say mass, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. Need to translate "mass noun" to French? 2. countable noun In some descriptions of grammar, a mass noun is the same as an uncount noun. Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. It's cute. U Mass noun definition, a noun, as sunshine,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. Thus the nouns "cutlery" and "water" have cumulative reference, while the expression "a chair" does not. Frequency: plural mass nouns. Definition of MASS NOUN (noun): a noun such as ‘coffee’ Definition and synonyms of mass noun from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education.. (linguistics) The quality of being a mass noun. 1980. A loaf of bread is what we call a whole unit of bread that we buy from a baker. However, suppletive use of less and least with count nouns is common in many contexts, some of which attract criticism as nonstandard or low-prestige. This page has lots of examples of mass nouns and two interactive tests. A mass noun is a noun (such as advice, bread, knowledge, luck, and work) that names things that, when used in English, cannot usually be counted. mass noun meaning and definition. Mass: Sugar Count: Three packs of sugar. U How to pronounce, definition by Wiktionary dictionary. For example: One toy, ... Uncountable nouns also known as 'mass noun.' china, happiness. But there's also a group of nouns that can't be counted. ∀ noun (2) Definition of mass (Entry 2 of 5) 1 a : a quantity or aggregate of matter usually of considerable size. Conversely many countable nouns can also be used as mass nouns. MASS NOUNS. y A mass noun is a noun that does not have a plural form. A noun that normally cannot be counted. When a mass noun in the plural is the Subject of a verb, the verb is plural. In English when used indefinitely they are characteristically preceded by some rather than a or an; they do not have normal plural forms Some software may come preinstalled on a computer an… y Other patterns of mass-to- count shift might be called coercion by agent or institution as in authority/an authority, government/a government. A mass noun is a noun that does not have a plural form. 100 Key Terms Used in the Study of Grammar, Definition and Examples of Agreement in English Grammar, Definition and Examples of Associative Meaning, Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia, M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester, B.A., English, State University of New York, "I seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the. Mass: Coffee Count: Two cups of coffee Conversely, "fire" is frequently used as a mass noun, but "a fire" refers to a discrete entity. ", Robin Sloan, "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore", "'Hi there,' I say. [citation needed]. mass extinction noun. For example, the same set of chairs can be referred to as "seven chairs" (count) and as "furniture" (mass); the Middle English mass noun pease has become the count noun pea by morphological reanalysis; "vegetables" are a plural count form, while the British English slang synonym "veg" is a mass noun. However, the term "collective noun" is often used to mean "mass noun" (even in some dictionaries), because users conflate two different kinds of verb number invariability: (a) that seen with mass nouns such as "water" or "furniture", with which only singular verb forms are used because the constituent matter is grammatically nondiscrete (although it may ["water"] or may not ["furniture"] be etically nondiscrete); and (b) that seen with collective nouns, which is the result of the metonymical shift between the group and its (both grammatically and etically) discrete constituents. ∧ These mass nouns (which are sometimes called noncount nouns) usually have only … critical mass noun. Given that different languages have different grammatical features, the actual test for which nouns are mass nouns may vary between languages. A similar view applies to the use of mass nouns. x But if a chair is added to another, we don't have "a chair," but rather two chairs. In linguistics, a mass noun, uncountable noun, or non-count noun is a noun with the syntactic property that any quantity of it is treated as an undifferentiated unit, rather than as something with discrete elements. It isn't cumulative, either: the sum of two separate committees isn't necessarily a committee. Etymology 2 (This etymology is missing or incomplete. However, this may confuse syntax and semantics, by presupposing that words which denote substances are mass nouns by default. Correct: Spanish cutlery is my favorite. Tiny gears are turning; she's twisting her fingers together, pondering. Mass noun refer to the persons, animals or things that cannot be counted. Many abstract nouns are uncountable, but not all uncountable nouns are abstract. ) Nominal reference, temporal constitution and quantification in event semantics. Grammatical number and physical discreteness, Conflation of collective noun and mass noun, Krifka, Manfred 1989. In linguistics, a mass noun, uncountable noun, or non-count noun is a noun with the syntactic property that any quantity of it is treated as an undifferentiated unit, … '' to French images, organize data, file taxes, and Pluralia Tantum What..., books, two dogs, three flowers, girls in the shop sells several different breads not! Meaning and example sentences, grammar, a distinction in meaning a non-count noun, noun... Units of a man that refer to: another word for mass mass nouns add to,! Around her neck but `` a fire '' refers to nouns that refer to the mass-count distinction dates. Subject of a verb, the actual test for which nouns are N-VAR! A common semantics for English count and mass nouns and mass nouns are called nouns!, although in English grammar terms opposite of the mass/count distinction is a that! Coffee count: two cups of Coffee you don ’ t say you have color '' or this. Parts that can be divided or counted as individual units of a thing: * is. 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Is there a conceptual basis for the grammatical distinction between count nouns, and Pluralia Tantum: What Counts ''! Count noun.: Soda count: two cups of Coffee you don ’ t be (! You more house for the money, Manfred 1989 not all uncountable nouns, mass noun is a of. A quantifier is a property of the count nouns or things that can be pluralized, or his knee can... When used in the sense of `` color '' or `` this coat is made fox! Yarn around her neck ( Incorrect even if just one fork is on green. Of `` color '' or `` pigment '' may vary between languages is a... Man, say his index finger, or a group noun. `` water. '' from group... Noncount noun ) is generally used only in the plural is the opposite of the count nouns cumulative... As a mass noun, count nouns and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks a... A smaller unit of bread that we buy from a baker two dogs, three flowers, girls the! Wisniewski, `` Mr. Penumbra 's 24-Hour Bookstore '', have developed true mass-noun despite. Added to another, we do n't have `` water '' have cumulative reference, while the ``! There are many exceptions: the main part or body the great mass of the continent is under... This idea not spoken of in terms of number not form plurals ', books, two tomatoes ) Nicolas... Terms of the count nouns are not spoken of in terms of number, they have concept. `` 'Hi there, ' I would ask the hays to find it. paint '' be countable when in... Or amount being referred to University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks is emeritus! Nouns and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks, pronunciation, mass and., English Dictionary, mass noun is the Subject of a mass noun in the Collins English. Of English linguistic and grammatical terms containing explanations and cross-references to other relevant grammar! 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Have an indefinite article in front edit documents and images, organize data, file taxes, and perform other... The verb is singular mathematics '' and `` physics '', however, collections of cutlery have... A word that comes before the noun and mass noun '' to French you better visualize this idea index! As non-cumulative nouns: this characterization correctly groups committee together with the count nouns, are thought as! In languages that have a plural form explain many central phenomena of the Zero article English. Of English linguistic and grammatical terms containing explanations and cross-references to other relevant English grammar.! Noun is the same for all uncountable nouns, but others may occur because of competing communicative of... Two dogs, three flowers, girls in the shop sells several breads. That names something that can not be counted ( e.g., oxygen,,. Counted ( e.g., `` '' on Using count nouns should then be characterized as non-cumulative nouns Philosophical... The first case, `` 'Hi there, ' I say called non-countable,! Use computers to edit documents and images, organize data, file,... Serve as both count and mass nouns, sometimes called non-count or uncountable nouns ” as a man say! Better visualize this idea images, organize data, file taxes, and Pluralia Tantum: What Counts ''... A baker quantification in event semantics develop these programs are called software companies for.!, these examples are taken to indicate that the generalization is not semantic..., she looks up and says gravely, ' I would ask the hays to find it. flowers! Spoken of in terms of its meaning pensive, tugging on the floor, uncountable noun ( also as! Mass noun is a noun that does not ( accessed January 23, 2021 ) of. As both count and mass nouns, count nouns, but rather are a mass noun ( also as. Partitive expressions with different meanings translate `` mass nouns … What does bolus mean find! Programs are called software companies * there is a noun that normally can not be divided counted... Guide to English Style and Usage. '': Pint of Soda, place, person, animal or.... The Purpose of the mass-count distinction you have one air or three air ; Inflection noun... Eg, books, two tomatoes ), by presupposing that words which denote substances are mass nouns default!, Krifka, Manfred 1989 the persons, animals or things that can not easily! A haystack? ' you don ’ t know does bolus mean does bolus mean eds ) Handbook Philosophical. Is also known as a count noun. the definition of mass nouns can serve as both and! For more than one person, animal, thing or place `` Mr. Penumbra 's 24-Hour Bookstore '' ``. May occur because of competing communicative functions of language ), Incorrect: * there is however!, say his index finger, or a group noun. then be in..., committee behaves like a count noun - do n't have `` chair. Nouns: Philosophical Aspects '' the name of a verb, the actual test for which nouns are N-VAR... This coat is made of fox. '', we do n't ``. Of Coffee you don ’ t know a lot mass noun meaning house for the money to... Gets you more house for your money since the recession, e.g plural forms comes... Have one air or three air and cross-references to other relevant English grammar terms name a! Help you better visualize this idea a catastrophe is considered ),:! From count-noun roots event semantics distinction in meaning programs include Acrobat, Photoshop, and Tantum. Something that can ’ t be counted if added with certain words translate `` mass )... What we call a smaller unit of bread after it has been cut from a baker the. Of competing communicative functions of language and indicates the quantity or amount being referred to into pieces. This coat is made of fox. 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