Some nouns in English are uncount nouns. We do not use uncount nouns in the plural and we do not use them with the indefinite article a/an:
We ate a lot of food. (NOT
We bought some new furniture. (NOT
That's useful information. (NOT
a useful information)
We can use some quantifiers with uncount nouns:
He gave me some useful advice.
They gave us a lot of information.
Uncount nouns often refer to:
Substances: food, water, wine, salt, bread, iron
Human feelings or qualities: anger, cruelty, happiness, honesty, pride
Activities: help, sleep, travel, work
Abstract ideas: beauty, death, fun, life
Common uncount nouns
Some common nouns in English like information are uncount nouns even though they have plurals in other languages:
Let me give you some advice.
How much luggage have you got?
- Common uncount nouns 1
If we want to make these things countable, we use expressions like:
|a piece of ...
|a bit of ...
|an item of ...
|pieces of ...
|bits of ...
|items of ...
Let me give you a piece of advice.
That's a useful piece of equipment.
We bought a few bits of furniture for the new apartment.
She had six separate items of luggage.
However, accommodation, money and traffic cannot be made countable in this way. We need to use other expressions:
I've lived in three flats/apartments. (NOT
bits of accommodation)
Smith received three large sums of money. (NOT
pieces of money)
We got stuck in two traffic jams. (NOT
pieces of traffic)