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English Speaking - measure-words

Measure Words


When talking about non-count items (such as sugar, water, toothpaste, etc.), it is common to use measure words to indicate how much of the substance you are referring to.

Below are a few examples of measure words used in English.


A bowl of rice

A dish of spaghetti

A pound of meat/

A piece of cake/pie

A can of soup

A box of cereal

A bag of flour

A carton of ice cream

A jar of peanut butter

A loaf of bread

A slice of bread/pizza

A package of pasta

A dash of salt

A cube of ice

A pack of gum

A head of lettuce/

An ear of corn

A kernel of corn

A grain of wheat/salt

A stalk of celery

A spear of asparagus

A clove of garlic


A teaspoon of medicine

A tablespoon of vinegar

A glass of water

A cup of coffee

A pint of blood

A quart of milk

A half gallon of juice

A gallon of punch

A tank of gas

A jug of lemonade

A bottle of wine

A keg of beer

A shot of vodka

A drop of rain

Personal items

A bar of soap

A tube of toothpaste

A container of shampoo

A stick of deodorant

A bottle of perfume/cologne

A roll of toilet paper

A ball of cotton

Sewing items

A spool of thread

A skein of yarn

A yard/meter of ribbon

A (square) foot/meter of fabric/cloth


A piece of paper

A pad of paper

A roll of tape

A stick/piece of chalk

A bottle/tube of glue

A jar of paste

A pair of scissors


1. Measure words can also be counted:

one slice of toast, two slices of toast, etc.

2. Some items can be either count or non-count, depending on composition or arrangement.

For example,

A bar of chocolate (non-count [perceived as one solid item])
A box of chocolates (count [perceived as several individual items])

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