Title

Count nouns and mass nouns: Crops, produce, and the plural of seed

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2018

Abstract

The distinction between count nouns and mass nouns affects thinking and writing about various types of crops and produce. Count nouns are words that indicate discrete, countable objects (e.g., forks, viewpoints), whereas mass nouns are words that indicate some relatively undifferentiated substance (e.g., water, energy). We explain the grammar of these two forms and point out some writing pitfalls to avoid. The word seed is one of the few English nouns that is both a count noun and a mass noun. An argument is presented for using seeds as the plural when several individuals are counted and for using seed as the singular when referring to seeds in the aggregate.

Publication Name

Weed Technology

Volume Number

32

First Page

221

Last Page

223

Issue Number

2

DOI

10.1017/wet.2017.110

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