Bread as an (Un)Countable Noun
Bread is a tricky noun in English. We don't normally count it like we do here in Brazil. Here, when we go to the bakery we can buy a specific number of bread, e.g. dois pães de trigo or cinco pães integrais.
In English, when we want to specify quantity of bread we usually use it with another, more specific word. Some words that can modify bread to make it countable are slice, loaf, roll, and bun. Take a look at some examples:
If you're going to make three hamburgers for your friends, you'll need three hamburger buns.
What we usually call um pão here in Brazil would be best translated as a "roll", which is a countable noun.
When you're make to make a sandwich, how many slices of bread do you use?
How many slices of bread are in a loaf of bread?
Mas perai because there are times when you will hear the "bread" used in the plural. In this case, we are referring to types of bread. For example:
There are many breads in France, which do you prefer? The baguette? A loaf of brioche? Or maybe some croissants?
There are many bakeries nowadays that are known for their great variety of artisanal breads.
If you like bread, check out this video to practice your listening:
If you'd like to test your English after watching the video, try answering these questions:
1. Scoring bread helps it to expand while baking, but why did French villagers use to score their bread?
2. What did Edan do before becoming a baker and how did he decide he wanted to become a baker?
3. What does challah remind Jeremy of?
4. What is your favorite type of bread? How do you like to eat it?
5. What was the best bread if you've ever eaten in your life? Comment on the experience.
If you'd like feedback and grammatical tips about your answers, simply email them to us!