Learn English – “Architecture”: Countable or Uncountable


Cambridge Dictionary lists "architecture" as uncountable noun.


noun [ U ]

Thus, it shouldn't take indefinite article; it shouldn't take plural form.

However, Wikipedia authors use it as countable:


  • The earliest computer architectures were designed on paper and then directly built into the final hardware form.

  • A microarchitecture organized around a single bus

  • A given ISA may be implemented with different microarchitectures

So, is "architecture" countable or not? Or probably it have both usages, countable and uncountable?


From https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/architecture:

uncountable the art and study of designing buildings

  • to study architecture

uncountable the design or style of a building or buildings

  • the architecture of the eighteenth century
  • modern architecture

countable, uncountable (computing) the design and structure of a computer system

So, yes, it can both forms.

But it is very hard to understand. Computer architecture doesn't look any different from building architecture. They share the same principles. However, the former can have both forms and the latter is uncountable.


Edit 2:

OK, I was wrong. Building architecture can have plural form as well. It seems that the answer is already posted in the comments.

Best Answer

there is no such thing as inherently countable and uncountable. These categories are shorthand for a how any given noun is being treated by English speakers. And the treatment of nouns change over the years. Consider research:researches / email:emails / software:softwares. I am not saying that all or even most English speakers treat any of the preceding nouns as count, or not, but the acceptability of the treatment of nouns as count/non-count relies upon the usage of English speakers.

Furniture has not (yet) many fans of furnitures.

It is toast, and only rarely toasts (see the applicable question and answer on this site).

So architectures? It seems acceptable.