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Software: Countable or Uncountable? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 12 June 2024)


Is Software Countable or Uncountable?

Software is an uncountable noun and should not be used in the plural form. Instead of softwares, we refer to multiple software programs collectively as software:

✅ The company develops innovative software for educational purposes.
❌ The company develops innovative softwares for educational purposes.

I need to install some new software on my computer.
I need to install some new softwares on my computer.

John specialises in creating security software for businesses.
John specialises in creating security softwares for businesses.

✅ You don't need so much software to get started with basic photo editing.
❌ 
You don't need so many softwares to get started with basic photo editing.

To refer to a single software program, use a piece of software or a software program. Do not say a software:

✅ Can you recommend a piece of software for graphic design?
Can you recommend a software for graphic design?

✅ I just bought a new piece of software for video editing.
❌ I just bought a new software for video editing.

✅ Each piece of software in the suite serves a different function.
❌ Each software in the suite serves a different function.

We have several pieces of software for creating animated videos.
We have several softwares for creating animated videos.

The entry for the noun software in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

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Examples from the Media

U.S. certification will give security-conscious organizations, like government agencies, the ability to use software which separates sensitive corporate data from personal content on a single mobile device. Toronto Star (2014)

Personal computers are powerful enough to run any program we could possibly want. So why is there still so much software that won't run on everybody's desktop? —The Sydney Morning Herald (2004)

The flaw was uncovered earlier this month in a piece of software called Log4j, which helps applications interact with one-another across computer networks. —Daily Mail (2021)

"These pieces of software seem so abstract, almost fake with their funny, spooky names, but I think they emphasize that the web and IRL [in real life] are not different spaces," Guo told Vice. —The Washington Post (2019)

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