Material Noun

A material noun is the name of a material, substance, or ingredient things are made of. They can be articles of food or drink as well. Examples are iron, copper, steel, gold, coal, silver, rice, wheat, milk, water, tea, sugar etc.

Note: A material noun is a type of common noun but a distinction is made between the two. A common noun is usually a countable noun but a material noun is an uncountable noun.

The cow gives us milk.

Cow is a common noun (countable), but milk is a material noun (uncountable).

Examples of Material Nouns Used in Sentences

  • I like some salt in my tea.
  • This table is made of wood.
  • I have bought a sweater made of pure wool.
  • We run a steel company.
  • Carbohydrate is critical for energy

In the aforesaid sentences, the underlined words i.e. salt, wood, wool, steel etc, are the names of substances or matter of which things are made of. Such nouns are called material nouns.

Some more examples:

  • Her hair looks straight in the back and wavy in the front.
  • Lomami Paris is my favorite perfume.
  • Coal and diamond are abundant in Africa.
  • Maldives is a beautiful country famous for crystal clear blue water.
  • Shazia drinks three glasses of milk every day to become health and stronger.
  • The stream in the village has been polluted by local people.
  • I like your silver ring. In front of it even my gold ring looks plain.
  • Among beverages I like to drink coffee in the morning.
  • Silver is used to make jewellery.
  • I wear cotton clothes in the summer.
  • We should drink clean water.
  • My mother gave me a chain of gold.
  • This frying pan is made of iron.
  • Copper is used to make electric wires.
  • We must drink warm water with honey.
  • Cow milk is good for health.
  • In the hilly areas, the houses are made of wood.
  • My mother drinks coffee in the morning.
  • Seema bought wool to knit a sweater for me.
  • Don’t use too much oil for cooking food.
  • My grandmother was wearing a silk saree.

Examples of Materials Nouns


sugar, gold, milk, plastic, mercury, juice, cotton, wheat, silk, barley, rice, water, land, wood, timber, vinegar, water, copper, steel, iron, diamond, soap, rain, paint, perfume, deodorant, ponds, olive, petrol, soil, forests, sugar, rock, hair, salt, coal, coffee, tea, oil, leather, stream, coffee, wool, blood, paint, flour, maize, plastic, cotton, cement, cloth, air, metal, gold, salt, iron, silver, steel, brass, bronze, copper, aluminium, lead, coal, diamond, glass, fibre, plastic, rubber, leather, paper, paint, plywood, chemical, silk, sand, oil, jute, coffee, tea, honey etc

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Note:-Material nouns can be weighed or measured but not counted. We cannot count them because they are in the forms of liquid, semi-liquid, gass or solid.

(b) Materials: wood, cloth, silver, gold, iron, etc.
(c) Liquids: water, milk, oil, ink, honey, etc.
(d) Gases: steam, mist, nitrogen, air, etc.

A material noun expresses an indefinite mass of matter as glass, stone, rice.

Unlike Abstract nouns, we can see, feel, and hear, taste or smell these nouns.

When a material noun is used to express a definite object, it is called class noun, not a material noun. Many material nouns give new meanings when used as a class noun.

Here are some examples to understand this:

Material Noun

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