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  1. zoobinshid's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jan 2005
    • Posts: 295
    #1

    Exclamation paper!!!countable or uncountable?

    Hello everybody,
    Can anyone please tell me why paper is not countable?Because it make sense for me that I`m not a native to say"There are two papers on the desk.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #2

    Re: paper!!!countable or uncountable?

    Like many things, "paper" is sometimes countable and sometimes uncountable.

    Normally it's uncountable, but often "a paper" can mean a written composition, an official document or a newspaper. When used in those senses, it's countable.

    In your sentence, I'd guess the "papers" are either written reports or newspapers, but without some more information I can't say for sure.

    Here's another example of a normally uncountable noun used in a countable sense: "Tea with two sugars, please." Here, "two sugars" means two lumps or two spoonfuls of sugar.

  3. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #3

    Re: paper!!!countable or uncountable?

    Re-reading your post, I realise that you asked a slightly different question.

    Yes, paper is normally uncountable. It's a material, and materials are usually uncountable: wool, cement, wood, silk... these are all uncountable in their usual senses. Unless you do mean reports or newspapers, you have to say "two sheets of paper".

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