Partitive Expressions with Uncountable Nouns

This is a list of one hundred partitive expressions containing a partitive + uncountable noun, each with an example sentence. The expressions are in alphabetical order based on the uncountable noun.

See also: the grammar of partitives and uncountable nouns

partitive expression example sentence
a torrent of abuse The manager was so angry that he let loose a torrent of abuse at his workers.
a piece of advice Can I offer you a piece of advice about investing your savings?
a fit of anger Harry slapped his girlfriend in a fit of anger.
a work of art Everyone says her garden’s a work of art, it’s so beautiful.
a rasher of bacon How many rashers of bacon would you like with your breakfast?
a glass of beer The police wanted to know how many glasses of beer he had drunk.
a drop of blood There were two or three drops of blood on the carpet.
a spot of bother I’m in a spot of bother because I can’t find my car keys, and I’m already late.
a loaf of bread How much does a loaf of bread cost in Japan?
a pat of butter Could I have three pats of butter and some jam, please?
a game of chess We played three games of chess, and Bobby won all of them.
a bar of chocolate If you’re a good boy, I’ll give you a bar of chocolate.
an item of clothing Put any items of clothing you no longer need into this box.
a lump of coal The kids found some lumps of coal beside the railway tracks, and took them home.
a cup of coffee The first thing I do when I get to work is have a cup of coffee.
an ear of corn Ears of corn are usually steamed or boiled and then served with butter.
a scrap of difference Writing letters to corrupt politicians won’t make a scrap of difference to the way they behave.
a speck of dust They have no kids, and you won't find a speck of dust in their home.
a scrap of evidence There wasn’t a scrap of evidence to prove he’d done it, but he was still sent to jail for life.
an item of expenditure You must have a receipt for every item of expenditure you want to claim.
an article of faith Freedom of expression is an article of faith among truly democratic people.
a morsel of food There wasn’t a morsel of food left in the house, so we had to go out for dinner.
a breath of fresh air The room was crowded and I felt faint so I went outside for a breath of fresh air.
a piece of fruit Everyone should eat at least three pieces of fruit a day.
a bit of fun After working hard all day, we felt like having a bit of fun.
a piece of furniture We need a piece of furniture that will look good in that empty corner.
a clove of garlic Take two cloves of garlic, crush them, and then add them to the soup.
a pane of glass You have to be very careful when transporting panes of glass.
a blade of grass The ant walked all the way up the blade of grass, and then all the way down again.
a pang of guilt When I saw my brother being punished for what I’d done, I felt a pang of guilt.
a lock of hair He kept a lock of her hair in a small tin box with his other most precious possessions.
a jar of honey She stuck her fingers into the jar of honey, and then slowly licked them clean.
a glimmer of hope The president gave us a glimmer of hope when he promised to look into the issue.
a sense of humour He lacks a sense of humour, and his laughter never sounds real.
a pang of hunger I felt a pang of hunger, and knew it must be getting close to lunchtime.
a block of ice How long do you think it’d take for this block of ice to melt?
a scoop of ice cream You don’t really need three scoops of ice cream on your apple pie, do you?
a piece of information There was an important piece of information missing from the report.
a plea of innocence He maintained his plea of innocence, even though everyone said he was guilty.
a touch of irony There was often a touch of irony in his voice when he spoke.
a jar of jam If you leave a jar of jam open on the bench, the ants will find it.
a glass of juice I’d like a glass of juice, but only if the juice is freshly squeezed.
an act of kindness A simple act of kindness to a stranger is a wonderful thing.
a piece of land My grandfather bought this piece of land over a hundred years ago.
a peal of laughter We heard peals of laughter coming from her bedroom.
a ray of light As dawn broke, rays of light rose from behind the mountains.
a flash of lightning The sky was lit up by flashes of lightning.
a work of literature Poems, plays, novels and short stories are all works of literature.
a stroke of luck Was finding her there a stroke of luck, or did he know she’d be there?
a piece of luggage You can carry one small piece of luggage onto the plane.
a case of measles Was it really a case of measles, or another disease that looked like measles?
a slice of meat Put one slice of meat into every sandwich, with some lettuce and tomato.
a dose of medicine I was given a dose of medicine that tasted like liquid chalk.
a bottle of milk Every morning the milkman would leave two bottles of milk on our doorstep.
a litre of milk How many litres of milk do we need?
a piece of music That was one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard!
an item of news Who decides if something becomes an item of news, or not?
a litre of oil How much does a litre of oil cost?
a coat of paint The house did look better after a coat of paint. But really it needed two or three coats.
a piece of paper I wrote his number on a piece of paper and slipped it into my wallet.
a crime of passion His lawyer said it wasn’t premeditated murder, but a crime of passion.
a dab of perfume A couple of dabs of perfume on my neck, and I was ready to go.
an abuse of power Using falsified evidence to justify a war is a criminal abuse of power.
a shower of rain We got caught in a shower of rain while walking to the station.
a sign of respect In many cultures, bowing to someone is a sign of respect.
an act of revenge He’d harmed many people in his life, so his murder was probably an act of revenge.
a bowl of rice Would you like another bowl of rice?
a grain of rice There wasn’t a single grain of rice left in the village.
a pile of rubbish We found the bottles dumped in a pile of rubbish behind the factory.
a glass of rum After drinking four or five glasses of rum, I felt sick.
a pinch of salt Add two or three pinches of salt as the water is coming to the boil. 
a plate of seafood How many plates of seafood should we order for the party?
a sense of shame I doubt he’s capable of feeling a sense of shame for what he’s done.
a minute of silence There was a minute of silence before the game began.
a wall of silence The fear of punishment created a wall of silence around the truth.
a night of sleep I think I've had about three nights of sleep in the six weeks since our baby was born.
a cloud of smoke After the riots, you could see clouds of smoke rising into the sky as buildings around the city burned.
a fall of snow A heavy fall of snow left the whole landscape a glistening white.
a cake of soap Talk about extravagant! She uses a new cake of soap each time she showers.
a feeling of sorrow There was a feeling of sorrow in the room as everyone thought about what had happened.
a bowl of soup As soon as we all sat down, she brought three big bowls of soup and three spoons.
a lump of sugar The was a little jar on the table full of lumps of sugar.
a spoonful of sugar How many spoonfuls of sugar do you like in your tea?
a ray of sunshine Barry said his baby daughter was a little ray of sunshine in his life.
a cup of tea Do you prefer a cup of tea with your breakfast, or a cup of coffee?
a game of tennis It’s just a game of tennis, so I don’t know why you’re getting so upset!
a clap of thunder The silence was shattered by two sudden, loud claps of thunder.
a moment of time It was a moment of time that nobody who was there will ever forget.
a grain of truth She said there wasn’t a grain of truth in her husband’s story.
an act of vengeance The police suspected the fire had been deliberately lit as an act of vengeance.
an outbreak of violence After years of injustice, outbreaks of violence were becoming more frequent.
a drop of water The drop of water slowly grew, and then it fell from the tap.
a sign of wealth The signs of wealth that took him fifty years to earn hardly seemed worth it.
an ear of wheat The winning photograph is a close-up of a single ear of wheat.
a shot of whiskey As soon as he sat down at the bar, Hunter downed a shot of whiskey.
a gust of wind A gust of wind grabbed the kite and swept it into an acrobatic loop.
a glass of wine Our waiter knocked over two glasses of wine as he tried to set down a plate.
a pearl of wisdom After stroking his beard and smiling, the guru dispensed a pearl of wisdom to his followers.
a block of wood Jam some blocks of wood behind its back wheels, or the truck will roll down the hill.
a ball of wool It’s just a tangle of wool now, but it was a ball of wool before our kitten found it.
a day of work The workers only get five or six dollars for a full day of work.
Note that most of the above partitive expressions collocate strongly.