Definition of mass noun in English:

mass noun

noun

Grammar
  • 1A noun denoting something which cannot be counted (e.g. a substance or quality), in English usually a noun which lacks a plural in ordinary usage and is not used with the indefinite article, e.g. china, happiness.

    Contrasted with count noun
    • ‘And I also wonder what happens when you have a noun that doesn't need a determiner at all, for example mass nouns such as water, or plural nouns.’
    • ‘At the same time, their language does have a distinction between count and mass nouns, so that there is the equivalent of the English difference between " { many / * much foreigners } " and " { * many/much manioc meal’.’
    • ‘Beware of anyone who pluralizes ‘literature’, which is already a mass noun.’
    • ‘When used in a generic sense, only mass nouns and plural count nouns are able to occur without a determiner or quantifier: Water is colourless, Groceries are expensive, Dogs make good companions, * Dog makes a good companion.’
    • ‘For example, Mandarin's usage of mass nouns predisposes its discourse to take a more holistic approach to the world than say, English, which demarcates objects more readily.’
    1. 1.1 A noun denoting something which normally cannot be counted but which may be countable when it refers to different units or types, e.g. coffee (drank some coffee, ordered two coffees).
      • ‘In the last chapter I largely overlooked the conceptual differences between count and mass nouns.’

Pronunciation:

mass noun

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