数えられない名詞の見分け方|How to tell uncountable nouns

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[日本語訳へ]

The noun party continues… (Click here for Part 1)

Uncountable nouns = Mass nouns.

Don’t ever let someone tell you that you cannot do something…in English…or in anything else for that matter. They usually just don’t know how it can be done.

Why am I being so bold?

Because… Uncountable nouns can be counted! So the name “Uncountable noun” is a misnomer, A.K.A. misleading.

They are normally counted, but just not in a general way.

The way they are counted is with precision.

So before i explain precision counting, let’s just be English savvy and call “Uncountable nouns” their truly defined name: “Mass nouns”

The name “Mass nouns” makes more sense because they are just a massive amount of some ‘thing’, a noun put together.

Here is a piece of advice with counting Mass nouns: count the pieces! Or more formally, the precise forms the nouns come in.

For example:

Object Mass nouns:

  • Gold: A piece of gold, 20 pieces of gold, An ounce of gold
  • Water: A drop of water, A glass of water, 8 ounces of water
  • Rain: 3 cm of rain, a shower of rain
  • Electricity: 12 volts of electricity, a bolt of electricity

Concept Mass nouns:

  • Business: 5 matters of business
  • Luck: An instance of good luck, a string of good luck
  • Tennis: A game of tennis, a rule of tennis
  • Fame: 15 minutes of fame

This way of description obviously takes a little more effort and mastery of the English language. Just know, that once you can use these somewhat comfortably, you are a tremendous English speaker! So let’s do our best to achieve this level of expression!

Going back to the original subject of “Countable nouns”. Did you know that Japanese countable nouns are much harder than English countable nouns?

You have an advantage in this area!

For example:

Why are all the counters different? “一本、一枚、一台…”

Why does a rabbit use the same counter as a bird? “一羽”

I have to go I continue studying my Japanese counters… So I’ll see you in the next article!

[日本語訳へ]

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