Grammar Patterns

Mass nouns

Mass nouns

Mass nouns are nouns which behave like uncount nouns when they refer to a substance, e.g. Use detergent, and like count nouns when they refer to types or brands of substance, e.g. Use a strong detergent; More detergents are now available.Mass nouns have the same grammatical behaviour as Variable nouns see Section 3. In the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary, mass nouns are labelled N-VAR.When a mass noun in the singular or uncount form is the Subject of a verb, the verb is singular. When a mass noun in the plural is the Subject of a verb, the verb is plural.Nouns of this type belong to the following meaning groups:
I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold.
A designer label often guarantees a new perfume arrives with a ready-made public profile.
Department stores are finding that French perfumes are selling slowly.
The 'cheese' groupThe 'beer' groupThe 'silk' groupThe 'plastic' groupThe 'lipstick' groupThe 'cough mixture' groupThe 'bleach' groupThe 'acid' groupThe 'fossil fuel' groupThe 'moss' groupThe 'compost' groupThe 'fluid' groupNouns with other meanings

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