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  1. Member
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    #11

    Re: Why is bread considered as uncountable noun?

    The usual test for count nouns is the ability to combine with the cardinal numbers: "one bread", "two breads", "three breads" and so on. But we don't normally use "bread" that way.

    Certainly most dictionaries give it as non-count, though MW in its Learner's Dictionary also gives it as a count noun in "... a nice selection of breads and pastries". That particular use wouldn't fail the cardinal number test since it could be expanded to "... a nice selection of three different breads and four pastries".

    Surely the sensible answer is to say that "bread" is non-count in its primary sense where it denotes a food substance, and it can also be a count noun in its secondary sense of "kind/variety of bread".

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #12

    Re: Why is bread considered as uncountable noun?

    When dictionaries say that a noun is uncountable, it describes the common usage, and is not an absolute rule. Money/water/bread, etc, can have plural forms, but they are not the most common forms of the noun. If you walk into a bank and say that you want ten monies, you probably won't get a satisfactory result. However, that doesn't means that these words can never ever have a plural form. It also doesn't mean that the dictionaries are wrong- more detailed dictionaries have the space to break down all the possible uses, but shorter dictionaries tend to give the most common. The more definitive and precise an answer you want from a dictionary, the bigger and more authoritative a dictionary you should use.

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