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Material Noun: Definition, Examples, Rules & Exercises

Learning English with The AN and freSy

Material Noun

The noun is used mainly in five ways in English Grammar, in which all differences have their separate existence. Material Noun is one of those which addresses such a Noun that can only be measured or weighed but cannot be counted at all. A Material Noun is a special name given to things made of substance, which addresses the type of substance rather than the individual particles of the substance. This Material Noun is not countable because, it is in the form of liquid, semi-liquid or solid. As; air, metal, gold, salt, iron, silver, steel, etc. Using substances with Material Noun, it can be converted into other colors, forms, shapes, etc. They remain Material Nouns even after changing into other forms.

Definition of Material Noun
The noun that gives the sense of a liquid/substance, that which is measured or weighed but not counted, from which various things are made, is called a material noun.

Another word says Material nouns are the names of substances from which things are made. As Gold, Iron, Silver, etc.

  1. A Material Noun is a noun that can be measured or weighed but cannot be counted.
  2. Material Nouns are those constituent substances using which many other substances are made.
  3. All Material Nouns are material things. gold, silver, wood, rubber, etc. All these things can be measured or weighed but cannot be counted.
  4. Ornaments are made from gold and silver, furniture is made from wood, and tea is made from water.
  5. They are called Material Nouns because mostly they are all materials like coal, lead, aluminum, plywood, sand, glass, fiber, tar, cloth, etc.
  6. All these are raw materials. Most of these materials are natural but some are also man-made. The sources of what is natural are plants, animals, or nature.
  7. These are such things that man cannot make but by using them he can make many other things.

Examples of Material Nouns

The words in bold in the following sentences are material nouns.

  1. Diamond is the hardest substance in the world.
  2. Calcium is essential for our bones.
  3. Cotton is the best material to use in summer.
  4. BP patients should have a minimum intake of salt.
  5. Wood and cement are essential construction materials.
  6. Milk contains lactic acid.
  7. Wheat is one of the most consumed food items in India.
  8. I love wearing silver rings.
  9. Tea is served to welcome guests into our home.
  10. Honey is a natural sweetener.

Classification of Material Noun

Generally, Material Noun is obtained in many ways, such as natural substances, man-made substances, etc. Based on this, Material Noun has been divided into 4 categories which are as follows.

Classification Material Noun
Material Nouns from Nature water, air, silver, gold, iron, copper, sand, coal, rock, sunlight, rain, earth, etc.
Material Nouns from animals egg, meat, honey, milk, silk, leather, wool, etc.
Material Nouns from plants cotton, food, oil, wood, jute, coffee, medicine, tea, rubber, perfume, etc.
Material Nouns which is man-made acid, alcohol, brick, cement, butter, ghee, cheese, etc.

Use of Material Noun in the Sentence

Material Noun is used in Singular Number in Grammar. But there is a need to be careful in the use of Articles. So, a special rule is available here.

1. Material Noun is always considered singular, and a Singular Verb is used with it. As;
  • This phone is made of plastic.
  • Water is essential for life.
  • His sister gave me the gold chain.
  • Diamond is a precious metal.
  • He needs a sheet of paper.
2. Articles (An, A) are not used before Material Noun. As;
  • The water is clear.
  • Calcium is very important for bones.
  • Woolen clothes s are mostly used in winter.

Water, Calcium, and Woolen are Singular Materials Nouns. Therefore, articles are not used before them.

3. “The” is used before the Material Noun which expresses the feeling of being definite or special. As;
  • Honey is beneficial for my health.
  • The milk is hot, please don’t drink it.

The honey and the milk give the impression of special honey and special milk. Therefore, The is used before it.

Material Noun Rules in Sentence

Rule 1: Material nouns are always spoken in the singular, so they are always accompanied by singular verbs (is/has/was).

  • Water has become dirty. Gold is my weak point. Rice is looking fresh and newly harvested.

Rule 2: Articles (a, an, the) are not used before Material Nouns.

  • The water is dirty – wrong
  • Water is dirty – right
  • I like a silver – wrong
  • I like silver – right

Rule 3: Before Material Nouns quantifiers like ‘some’, ‘a lot’, and ‘few’ can be used.

  • Please give me a lot of rice. Drink a few drops of medicine.

Rule 4: As we have seen, Material Nouns are always considered in the singular. That’s why ‘s’ or ‘es’ cannot be used with them.

  • Plastic – right
  • Plastics – wrong
  • sugar- right
  • sugars- wrong

Rule 5: We cannot use any number before material nouns.

  • one salt – wrong
  • one bowl of salt – right
  • four wood – wrong
  • four logs of wood – right

Rule 6: Whenever a material noun appears at the beginning of a sentence, its first letter is written in capital and if it appears anywhere in the middle of the sentence, it is written in small letters only.

  • Diamonds are precious. – Right
  • I like Diamonds. – wrong
  • I like diamonds. – right

Material Noun Exercises

Choose the material noun words from the brackets for the exercises with answers:

  1. Vehicle tiers are made of ……………. (leather/rubber/plastic)
  2. We attended his birthday party. He gave us a sweet of ……………. (salt/sugar/milk)
  3. At the anniversary parties, we find cups and plates of ……………… (Plastic/earth/paper)
  4. Subhash took a heavy blanket of …………… along with him on tour. (wool/cotton/rayon)
  5. Most family has utensils of …………….. in their house. (rubber/paper/steel)
Answers:
  1. Vehicle tires are made of rubber.
  2. We attended his birthday party. He gave us a sweet of milk.
  3. At the anniversary parties, we find cups and plates of paper.
  4. Subhash took a heavy blanket of wool along with him on tour.
  5. Most family has utensils of steel in their houses.

Material Noun- FAQs

Que 1. What is Material Noun?

Answer: The noun is used mainly in five ways in English Grammar, in which all differences have their separate existence. Material Noun is one of those which addresses such a Noun that can only be measured or weighed but cannot be counted at all. A Material Noun is a special name given to things made of substance, which addresses the type of substance rather than the individual particles of the substance.

Que 2. Give some examples of material nouns?

Answer The Material noun examples are: Gold, Silver, coal, rock, water, sunlight, leather, wood, sand, air, etc.

Que 3. What are the rules of Material Noun?

Answer The rules of Material nouns are:

Rule 1: Material nouns are always spoken in the singular, so they are always accompanied by singular verbs (is/has/was).

Rule 2: Articles (a, an, the) are not used before Material Nouns.

Rule 3: Before Material Nouns quantifiers like ‘some’, ‘a lot’, and ‘few’ can be used.

Rule 4: As we have seen, Material Nouns are always considered in the singular. That’s why ‘s’ or ‘es’ cannot be used with them.

Rule 5: We cannot use any number before material nouns.

Rule 6: Whenever a material noun appears at the beginning of a sentence, its first letter is written in capital and if it appears anywhere in the middle of the sentence, it is written in small letters only.

Que 4. How to use material nouns?

Answer: Material Noun is used in Singular Number in Grammar

  1. Material Noun is always considered singular, and a Singular Verb is used with it.
  2. Articles (An, A) are not used before Material Noun.
  3. “The” is used before the Material Noun which expresses the feeling of being definite or special.
Que 5. Identify the material noun in the sentence, “I do not like to eat butter.”

Answer: In the above sentence, butter is a material noun.

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