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make pizza / make a pizza

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
I have a little question about "a".

Which would be used?
(1a) My mother is baking cake.
(1b) My mother is baking a cake.
(1c) My mother is baking cakes.
(1d) My mother is baking some cakes.

(2a) My mother is making pizza.
(2b) My mother is making a pizza.
(2c) My mother is making pizzas.
(2d) My mother is making some pizzas.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 
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1a would not be used, all the others seem fine. But of course, why not? ((And now I've just seen that Ootmaster says it's okay.))

I'm trying to think to myself what it is about cake/pizza that makes them different--why 2a is fine.

Some things seem to have a mass noun (uncountable) aspect to them, even tho they can still be counted.

My mother is baking bread. ~a loaf of bread. ~some bread.

But if you say ~some breads, then the meaning changes, i.e., she is making several kinds of bread.

You can say:
My mother is making brownies. ~some brownies.

But not: ~making brownie. ~making a brownie.
( ~a really big brownie, < sounds okay)

Brownies are made like cakes (in a baking pan, like many cakes), you call them brownies all along the way, even before they've been cut up (like cake). In this way, they're like cookies ( ~cookies, ~some cookies, but not ~cookie, or ~a cookie)

Then, you ask: would you like a piece of cake/pizza?
But: would you like a brownie.

Bread and pizza seem to share something here, conceptually (tho not completely)..., is it they use leavened doughs?

Pizzas are countable as 1 pizza, 2 pizzas..., and cakes are counted the same way; and for both people ask: would you like a piece/slice of ~

For bread you count 1 loaf, 2 loaves..., and still offer a slice or piece.

***

Sorry I can't help. And lucky it's not earlier in the day, or I'd be hungry.
 
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Yeah, all valid. (Edit: written before I saw the post just above; I was agreeing with OoTmaster.)

When you say something like "make pizza" or "bake cake", you're using them in the mass noun sense, so you're not mentioning how much pizza or cake you're making. You could be "making pizza" and it could be one pizza, or 10,000 pizzas. "Make a pizza", however, means specifically that you are making one, and "make pizzas" means specifically that you are making more than one.

And they would all be used roughly equally (varies from person to person), if you were wondering.

EDIT:

1a would not be used, all the others seem fine.
You can probably tell by the above, but I disagree. It's quite common to treat "cake" as a mass noun, as in the famous (probably made-up) "let them eat cake" line. The only thing unusual is the idea of making more than one cake at a time, and that's not a linguistic concern.

Check this:

"baking cake" - Google Search
 
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hirashin

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Thank you for the help and interesting comments, OoTmaster, johnnyG, and Julimaruchan. 
 

hirashin

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I have a further question.
Is there a difference in meaning between, for example, (2a) and (2b)?
(2a) My mother is making pizza.
(2b) My mother is making a pizza.
 
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Only in the sense that 2b clarifies that it's exactly one pizza. 2a might be used if she's making one pizza, or two pizzas, or a thousand pizzas, or what have you.
 
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I have a further question.
Is there a difference in meaning between, for example, (2a) and (2b)?
(2a) My mother is making pizza.
(2b) My mother is making a pizza.


I'm not a native speaker of English.

say I'm at my friend's house(white + native speaker of English)
he would use the statement (2a) if the pizza is to be served soon.
he would use (2b) if the pizza is for him to bring to lunch for tomorrow.

have to ask an expert like Julimaruchan to why is this.
Also I don't know if it's due to (2a) being unspecific about the amount of pizza.
this is more to do with time. For some reason people just use (2a) for food they are cooking and preparing for present time, while (2b) is almost always used to describe preparing food for a later time.


This is rocket science level of English stuff, I'm too dumb to know.
 
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