Academic Guides: Grammar: Count and Noncount Nouns
Here are some common categories of noncount nouns. Like all things in English (and language in general), there may be exceptions.

A mass: work, equipment, homework, money, transportation, clothing, luggage, jewelry, traffic
An abstract concept: advice, happiness, health, education, research, knowledge, information, time

Please explain the difference between "mass" and "abstract concepts or ideas" in relation to uncountable nouns.
How to differentiate them?

I think you almost have to be a native speaker to understand that explanation, and even then I'm having a little trouble with it.

Generally speaking, most of the time you can touch the mass items and you can't touch the abstract concepts.

You can touch equipment, money, clothing, and jewelry, for example, and you can't touch advice, happiness, knowledge, etc.

Not all of the examples given fit into this way of distinguishing them, but it's close.



Here is a good resource for noncount nouns and their different categories.


The word "research" is interesting in that in old literature or certain dialects of English you will come across the plural form. A dictionary thus might categorize it as either count or noncount.

In today's English, research is exclusively noncount.


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Is "research" a mass type or abstract concept type? How do we know?
JigneshbharatiIs "research" a mass type or abstract concept type?

Your book is claiming it's abstract, but I think it could be considered either type.

JigneshbharatiHow do we know?

I don't think we do know for certain. I am not comfortable with the type of analysis that is in that book. I don't think you can learn much from it because it's too hard to understand.


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 AlpheccaStars's reply was promoted to an answer.