Like abstract nouns
mass/material/ nouns are used without an article in their most general
meanings. For example :All that glitters is not gold. The prisoner was
given only bread and water. Houses were built of stone.
· If these nouns denote different sorts or a portion of the given
substance the indefinite article is used. For example: This is a very
good butter/that kind of butter/
· If these nouns denote concrete instance of a substance the definite
article is used .For example: He took a mouthful of the wine. Please,
pass me the salt.
· If a material noun denotes an object made of this material it is used
with articles as a count noun. For example: Here is a glass, some water
and a coin.