Based on the last blog post, you would think that if I was talking about something non-specific, like music, you would call it “a music.” But that doesn’t make a lot of sense. So why does that not work?
To figure that out, we have to look at count and non-count nouns. Like their name, count nouns are things you can count, like grains of sand, pickles, and flowers. Non-count nouns are things you cannot count, like sand, air, or music. It would be silly to say “two sands” or “many airs.”
So now that we know about the different kinds of nouns, lets figure out when you use or don’t use articles with these.
If you are talking about the entirety of a thing, or part of that thing, and the thing is a non-count noun, you do not use an article. Based on this, you could say “I could eat pickles all day.” In this example, pickles are general and fit into the “entirety of a thing” category. “Pickles” is definitely a non-count noun, because there are probably millions of pickles in the world.
The “part of that thing” classification works if you’re talking about certain types of something. You wouldn’t say “I like the classic music,” or “the pop music is my favorite.” You would say “I like classic music,” and “pop music is my favorite.”
Remember how “the” is used for specific examples of things? Well, that rule does not get broken here, even though we just took out articles when using non-count nouns in the above example. If you’re talking about a specific occurrence that takes place with a non-count noun, then you still use “the.”
Here’s an example:
“I think I ate 90% of the pickles at the wedding yesterday”
“The flowers he got me for Valentine’s Day were sooooooo pretty.”
Voila! Rock those articles.