The word apparatus, when referring collectively to the tools and equipment for a particular activity or purpose, is noncount (uncountable). It is always singular.

We do not insert the indefinite article a or an before it.


  • I am impressed by your city’s fire-fighting apparatus.
  • We need to stock up on laboratory apparatus such as glassware, alcohol burners, ring stands, and safety gear.

(In the same manner, equipment and gear are also noncount.)

When referring to  the “structure of a system or an organization, particularly that of a political party or a government,” some dictionaries offer the countable apparatusthat is, we can use the indefinite article a or an with this word. Even so, the countable apparatus remains singular.

Photo credit: Gutenberg.org


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