Hello everyone,
I find the "rain problem" is very hard. I'd appreciate it very much if you would help me with these sentences.

rain noun [U, sing.] water that falls from the sky in separate drops:
1. There will be rain in all parts tomorrow.
2. Rain is forecast for the weekend.
3. heavy / torrential / driving rain
4. A light rain began to fall.
5. Drizzle is fine light rain.
The definition and examples doesn't help me much.

1a. There will be rain in all parts tomorrow.
1b. There will be a rain in all parts tomorrow.
Are they both correct? Will there be any difference?

2a. Rain is forecast for the weekend.
2b. A rain is forecast for the weekend.
Are they both correct? Will there be any difference?

3a. A light rain began to fall.
3b. The light rain began to fall.
3c. Light rain began to fall.
Are they all correct? Will there be any difference?

Many thanks in advance.
Original Post
'Rain' is a noncount noun. ('Noncount' is specified with a U for 'uncountable' in some dictionaries.)

As you know, noncount nouns do not appear with the indefinite article -- a or an in front of them.

However, almost every noncount noun can be turned into a count noun in special circumstances. To indicate that you are referring to a special kind, a special type of rain, for example, you may say 'a rain.' In your sentences, 'a light rain' is a special kind of rain.

Other examples like this:

A: Do you like coffee?
B: Yes, I do.
A: I have a wonderful coffee from Kenya. Would you like to try it?
B: Yes, I would.

C: In this world, education is very important.
D: Yes, it is.
C: Is your son going to go to college?
D: Yes. He's going to the University of Chicago.
C: Oh, he'll get an excellent education there.
_____

There is no problem with 'the.' 'The,' which indicates a specificity, can appear with singular and plural count nouns, as well as with noncount nouns.
_______

Your sentences,Mengxin:

1. There will be rain in all parts tomorrow.
2. Rain is forecast for the weekend.
3. heavy / torrential / driving rain
4. A light rain began to fall.
5. Drizzle is fine light rain.


Sentences 1, 2, 3 and 5 refer to rain in general.

Sentence 1 means that rain will fall, and sentence 2 means that there will be rain over the weekend.

Sentence 3 describes a kind of rain. You could say 'a ....rain' as well as '....rain' without the indefinite article here.

Sentence 4 describes a special kind of rain; that' why 'a' begins the phrase.

Sentence 5 defines the word 'drizzle,' which is something similar to rain, or we could say another kind of rain.

1a. There will be rain in all parts tomorrow.
1b. There will be a rain in all parts tomorrow


Probably to refer to weather conditions, only (a) is correct: rain. It refers to rain in general.

2a. Rain is forecast for the weekend.
2b. A rain is forecast for the weekend.

(a) is correct to refer to weather conditions.

3a. A light rain began to fall.
3b. The light rain began to fall.
3c. Light rain began to fall.

(a) is correct. It is the first mention of this rain, which was light, so we can say 'a light rain.'
(b) could be correct, but probably not. If we have 'the,' this light rain was previously mentioned. Since this rain began to fall, we probably would not use 'the' since this is probably the first mention of this rain.
c) is correct. It refers to the phenomenon of rain in general.
Hello, Mengxin! Smile

You've posted a very interesting question! Here's how most native speakers probably interpret this linguistic phenomenon of suddenly counting what's normally an uncountable noun. First, let's remember that an uncountable noun can take the definite article before it (the) and a determiner like some, but not the indefinite article (a).

Rain as an uncountable noun represents drops of water falling from the sky. That's it:

Rain is forecast for the weekend.
We should see some rain later this afternoon.


The rain represents the same thing, but now the speaker/writer is referring to this water which has already been mentioned:

Rain is forecast for the weekend. The rain may be heavy at times.

The rains, here in the plural with the definite article, is a synonym for "the monsoon," which occurs seasonally in parts of Asia.

When we use the indefinite article and an adjective before rain, we're referring to "a shower," "a storm," or "a downpour," which are countable synonyms:

A light rain began to fall.

In your sentences, 1A works, but 1B doesn't. 2A works, but 2B doesn't. All three sentences work in 3:

3a. A light rain began to fall. = "A light shower ..."
3b. The light rain began to fall. = "The shower already mentioned ..."
3c. Light rain began to fall. = "A little bit of these water drops falling from the sky ..."

I hope this helps, Mengxin.

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