(An) information – is there an article?

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more.

The word “information” is an uncountable noun (also called mass noun) in English, just like “smoke” or “rice”. This means that it is treated as a certain kind of “substance” or “matter”, not as an object.

As a result, it does not make sense to say “an information”. You should say, for example:

correct That’s interesting information.
wrong That’s an interesting information.

If you want to stress that you talk about a specific “unit” of information, you can use the word “piece” (just like you would use the word “cup” for rice):

correct This piece of information is very helpful.

Since it’s uncountable, “information” does not have a plural form and is combined with “little” and “much” rather than “few” and “many”:

correct I have little information about the subject.
wrong I have few informations about the subject.
correct How much information has been lost?
wrong How many informations have been lost?

When you want to express that you have a small amount of information, the most natural way is to use “some information”. Saying “a little information” is possible but much less common:

correct I’ve found some information about him.
possible I’ve found a little information about him.

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 deals with similar topics.