adj. + uncountables/ "a heavy rain" "a good information" [rule?]


New Member

When I look up "a," one of the definitions says:
used before nouns that are usually uncountable when other information about the quality, feeling etc is added by anadjective, phrase, or clause:

But I am having difficulties to understand this rule. Is there any basic criterion that I can rely on to judge if this rule can be applicable?

Let's say, "rain" is usually uncountable but I think it's OK to say, "it was a heavy rain" or "a good knowledge" while I don't think you can say, "a good information" or "a expensive equipment." Why??

Thank you,
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Welcome to the forum!

    The key in your question is "usually uncountable". Rain and knowledge can be used either way. However, some nouns are always uncountable: information and equipment are in that category. For those we need some kind of "counter" word : a piece of equipment, information etc. Which words are in which category is not predictable and they must, unfortunately, be learned individually.
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