Material vs. materials

I) Both the words material and materials can be used when we want to refer to physical objects.

  • not enough material for two overcoats.
  • a few meters of dress material.
  • Stone is a durable material.
  • Writing materials such as paper and pens.
  • Dress materials.

II) material (legal) = important, essential.

  • material evidence
  • The judge warned the witness not to hold back material facts.

BUT, when you want to mean information or ideas (non-physical) you must use MATERIAL not MATERIALS.

  • I hoped to find material for some articles.
  • She is collecting material for a book.
  • He wrote a good deal of material himself.
  • They researched a lot of background material.

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