grammatical word: stuff

Today’s word is one which is extremely common is casual conversations in English: “stuff”. It has the same meaning as the word “things”. We use it to talk about things which belong to us or things that we have to do. For example:

I bought a lot of stuff at the department store yesterday.

There is so much stuff in my apartment. I have to get rid of some of it.

I have a lot of stuff to do today, so I can’t go see a movie with you.

In my free time, I like to read books, watch films and other stuff like that.

Please note that the word “stuff” is uncountable. Therefore, we CANNOT say “stuffs”.

Also, it’s important to be careful of the pronunciation of this word. Some of my students confuse it with the word “staff” with an “a”. When we pronounce words with “a” like “staff”, our voices go up, but when we pronounce words with “u” like “stuff”, our voices go down.


  1. Yiqin Said:

    Hi Mike,
    Today’s topic is very helpful, especially the part about the pronunciation of ”staff” and ”stuff”.
    While, I have a small question about two of the examples you used: what is the difference between the expression of ”see a movie” and of ”watch films”?
    Thanks for your work!

    • Hi Yiqin!

      Thank you for your comment and also for your question.

      Generally speaking, a “movie” and a “film” are the same, but when we say “film”, it sounds more formal and sophisticated. So with Hollywood, we usually say “movies” but with other countries, we usually say “films”. Also, when we go to a movie theater, we usually say, “see a movie” because it’s public, but at home, on DVD or on TV, we usually say “watch a movie”, because it’s private.

      I hope that helps you. Thanks for writing in!


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