I realize that the one is the plural size of the other, but they seem lớn be used interchangeably.

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You should be aware where you"re using it.

According lớn ldoce:

contents <plural> : 1) the things that are inside a box, bag, room etc 2) the things that are written in a letter, book etc

She kept the contents of the letter a secret.

content <singular> the amount of a substance that is contained in something, especially food or drink

water with a low salt content

content <singular, uncountable>: the ideas, facts, or opinions that are contained in a speech, piece of writing, film, programme etc

The content of the media course includes scripting, editing, and camera work.

content <singular, uncountable>: the information contained in a website, considered separately from the software that makes the website work

The graphics are brilliant. It’s just a shame the nội dung is so poor.


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answered Feb 21, 2011 at 19:03
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Manoochehr
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The New Oxford American Dictionary entry for content has:

1. (usu. contents) the things that are held or included in something: he unscrewed the vị trí cao nhất of the flask và drank the contents | he picked up the correspondence & scanned the contents.

the amount of a particular constituent occurring in a substance: milk with a low-fat content.

2. the substance or material dealt with in a speech, literary work, etc., as distinct from its size or style: the outward form và precise nội dung of the messages.

So, it tends khổng lồ be used in the plural, except in certain particular cases.


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answered Feb 21, 2011 at 10:36
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The distinction between content & contents is a bit tricky. First of all, “content” can be a noun (pronounced /ˈkɒntɛnt/ in British English and /ˈkɑːntɛnt/ in American English), an adjective, or a verb (both pronounced /kənˈtɛnt/; lưu ý the căng thẳng placement). Let’s deal with the adjective & the verb first.

As an adjective, “content” means “happy”, “satisfied”. Since the plural of an adjective in English is the same as its singular, it can never be “contents” in this case. For example:


As a verb, “content oneself with something” means “to accept và be satisfied with something và not try khổng lồ have something better”. Just like with all other verbs, to size the third person singular of this verb, we add an “s”, making the form “contents” possible:


I wanted a new PC but had to content myself with a new hard drive because the whole PC was too expensive.
She could hire someone to wash the dishes in her restaurant, but she contents herself with doing it without anyone’s help.

Finally, as a noun, “content” and its plural “contents” have several meanings. In the singular, “content” usually refers to:

The entirety of information contained in something. The story of a novel or the subject of an illustration can be called their “content”. Just like “information”, content is always uncountable when used in this sense. The word is most commonly used in reference to lớn the content of a website, as in,
The amount of a substance contained in something else. It may be either countable or uncountable. We can speak of “salt content” or “fat content” in foods, “alcohol content” in drinks, & so on, e.g.

In the plural, “contents” refer khổng lồ the things contained in something:

In a concrete sense. We can speak of the “contents of a bag”, “contents of a bottle”, “contents of the stomach”, etc., for instance,
In an abstract sense. Traditionally, pieces of information contained in a written document are called its “contents”. You may say,
Using the singular “content” in this case is becoming increasingly more common but is still considered wrong by many. The distinction is rather subtle; if you consider the contents of a document lớn be separate pieces of information, you should use “contents” (which is usually the case with a letter). If you refer to them as a whole, you should use “content”—it makes more sense to lớn say that “the book contains violent content” than “the book contains violent contents”.

By the way, if you haven’t read my guide on how to avoid the most common mistakes in English, make sure to check it out; it giao dịch with similar topics.


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