There are so many words in the English language that do not take or require a plural form. One of the most relevant mistakes that we can cite here is with the use of the word “hair.” Some of them go on to say, “My hairs are wet.” Linguistically, this word does not have a plural form and should be used as it is. Similar is the concept of Mass Nouns.
Mass Nouns are those that exist in the singular form and cannot have a plural form even if the object is more than one in quantity. It is incorrect also to use plural verbs or articles before such nouns. So, it wouldn’t be entirely wrong to put these in the uncountable nouns category.
While using some of these words can be an episode of humor, English learners must make sure not to let this error hit them. It is best to have knowledge about such nouns and share knowledge with fellow English learners. After all, imparting the wisdom of correct vocabulary and its use does give one a feel-good feeling! Let us take a look at some of such nouns.
Have you ever heard of anyone say, “Hey! Get me some butters on your way back home”? If you have, then correct them right away. Butter is a mass noun, and no matter what, you cannot add an “s” to it. Although, one can say, “Hey! Get me some jars of butter on your way back home.”
The word “news” in itself has an “s” already but represents all news combined. Calling it newses, or news’ is incorrect. “The news agencies have decided to not react to the public’s criticisms against the media industry.” This example clarifies how the word requires the addition of the word “agencies” to explain there is more than one news agency.
Such a simple and common word, yet many people describe the furniture in their house in the plural form. “I have bought these furnitures from the best store in town.” Nothing about this sentence is correct, because “furniture” is a mass noun. “I have bought every piece of furniture from the best store in town” is correct.
Even if people understand the difference between the homophone pair weather & whether some still end up using the latter in a plural form. The fact is, it does not have a plural! “The weathers keep changing in our country,” is, therefore, not correct. Here is how you use the word instead. “The weather keeps changing in our country.”
“Join us! We will visit a lot of friends, and have funs.” Do you find something weird about this sentence? If you said yes, then you are halfway through on your journey of understanding the concept of mass nouns. The word “fun” does not have a plural form, and no matter how differently someone wants to express, they cannot add an “s” to it. “Join us! We will visit a lot of friends, and have loads of fun” is the right manner to express.
Whether you wish to refer to a group of people or one person, advice cannot take an “s” in the end to express plurality. “You can all write your advices on a piece of paper and pass it to us” makes no sense. “You can all write your advice/pieces of advice on a paper and pass it us” makes a lot more sense.
You hear anyone say helps, you tell them “No”! Help does not need a plural form since it falls in the list of mass nouns. In line with its definition, it does not take an article too. “I received lots of helps to complete my work” is a big red dot in language.
It would be so wrong to say, “We shall start the marketings by 10.00 a.m. tomorrow.” Marketing does not take a plural form, and therefore, using it in the above manner would not gain acceptance in the English world. “We shall start the marketing sessions by 10.00 a.m. tomorrow” is how you can use it correctly.
“We received informations that the criminals are hiding somewhere in this locality.” Merely reading this sentence indicates how incorrect the word “informations” sounds. The right way to use it would be without a plural form. Consequently, “We received some information that the criminals are hiding somewhere in this locality” is a better way to say it.
Those who own a lot of this would use the plural form unless they know the right use. Evidently, there is no word such as jewelrys or jewelries. Even if one owns more than one of these, they would still have to use it in the same form. “Every piece of jewelry goes for polishing once in six months to keep it shiny.”
If you observe the above example, you will notice how these mass nouns take a unit of measurement to imply more than one of them. Therefore, try finding the best unit with such nouns, and the chances of errors are minimized. Education, money, water, sugar, homework, luck, etc. are other similar words as these. If you wish to practice, you may use these words in sentences of your own and leave them in the comment section below.