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Piece words 
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Piece words make it possible to talk about
a single unit or units of something which is 
seen as uncountable. Piece words include
words such as piece, bit, item, article. We
normally use them with of. We can use
them in the singular or the plural.

 Compare

uncountable uncountable with a piece


noun use word

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uncountable uncountable with a piece Table de contenidos
noun use word
+ Adjectives and adverbs
She told me
We need an + Easily confused words
information interesting
information
about trains piece of Nouns, pronouns and
to Moscow.

information.determiners

– about nouns
Do you He told me a
have any bit of news Age
news
news for that shocked
Comparison: nouns (more
us? me.
money, the most points)

Two items Gender


of furniture
We’re going Piece words and group
furniture to buy new
were sold for + words
more than
furniture.
£50,000 at Nouns
the sale.
Nouns and gender

The police Nouns and prepositions


The workers found an
all wore article of Nouns: compound nouns
clothing
protective clothing
Nouns: countable and
clothing. and some
uncountable
money.
Nouns: form
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The piece words combine (collocate) with
Nouns: forming nouns from
nouns in different ways. Here are the most
other words
common combinations. The piece words
are arranged from the least formal (bit) to Nouns: singular and plural
the most formal (article).
common nouns

determiners
common
piece word
combinations noun phrases

fun, luck, pronouns


time, work,
least quantifiers
paper,
formal
bit of information,
most question words
bread,
formal
money, uncountable nouns
news, gossip
+ Prepositions and particles
paper,
software, + Words, sentences and clauses
information,
work, + Using English
piece writing,
of furniture, + Verbs
wood,
equipment,
music,
cloth, land

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common
piece word
combinations

clothing,
equipment,
furniture,
food,
item Palabra del día
information,
of interest, knowledgeable
business,
knowing a lot
jewellery,
news
Más información  

furniture,
clothing
(article is
the least
common
piece word
article
and is
of
rather
formal. It
combines Blog
mostly with Flies on the wall and fish out
these two
of water: animal idioms, part
nouns).
2
May 08, 2019
This is a new piece of equipment
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which helps rescuers find earthquake Aprende más 
victims trapped in buildings.

Not: … a new equipment …

I had a bit of luck the other day – an


old friend offered me a job!

Not: I had a luck …

Three items of jewellery were stolen


from Miss Hart’s dressing-room.

Every article of clothing must be


Palabras nuevas
marked with the child’s name. FIRE noun
May 06, 2019
There are also more specific piece words
which combine with particular nouns: Más palabras nuevas 

a drop of water, a drop of milk, a slice


of bread, a loaf of bread, a bar of
chocolate, a bar of soap, a pinch of
salt

You will find these and more examples in


a good learner’s dictionary.

Group words

Group words (sometimes called collective


nouns) are nouns which refer to groups of
people, animals or things. There are
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special group words for particular
combinations of people, animals and
things:


group
common combinations
word

flowers (and types of


flowers such as roses,
bunch tulips), grapes, cherries
(and other similar fruit),
keys

people, onlookers,
crowd admirers, protesters,
shoppers

sheep, birds (and types of


flock birds such as pigeons,
geese)

workers, kids, youths,


gang teenagers, thieves,
criminals

(can be used with most


group
nouns)

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group
common combinations
word

sheep, cattle, cows, goats


herd
(and similar animals)

wolves, dogs, hyenas,


pack
cards, lies

glasses, cups, plates,


keys, tools (and other
objects which form a group
set
because they share the
same features), rules,
standards

fish (and types of fish such


shoal
as herring, cod)

bees, flies, ants (and other


swarm
insects)

scientists, researchers,
team experts, designers,
detectives

Group words take a singular verb when

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they are used in the singular, and a plural
verb when they are used in the plural:

A team of experts was called in to


investigate the problem.

There was a flock of about 30 sheep


in the field.

Gangs of youths were fighting one


another in the streets.

There were swarms of flies


everywhere.

Sometimes, singular group words are


followed by a plural verb, but some people
may consider this to be incorrect:

The committee produced a set of rules


that were intended to prevent people
from abusing the system. (or … a set
of rules that was intended …)

I found a bunch of keys on the floor.


Are they yours?

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