The supermarket example was exactly what I had in mind; in England you can ask "Where are the jams?" and the shop employee would point you in the direction of where the different brands, flavours, types, etc. of jam are. I think the issue stems from people's understanding of how uncountable nouns work like "fish" and "jam", often these words can feel wrong when pluralised, although in reality they are usable in some situations
It's more common to use collectives in the supermarket: Where can I find the pasta? Where is the cheese? The produce department is next to the meat. I'll buy a fruit salad and a cheese plate.
All can be pluralized but they'll sound strange.
Just like North American English(es) will say math class rather than maths class.
No one would say "pastas". "Cheeses" and "meats" would seem a bit strange for a customer to say, but "jams" is completely normal in Australia (and presumably in some parts of Britain too).
Also, don't be fooled by the "s"! "Maths" is not plural. It's just got the "s" from mathematics on the end. You don't say "Mathematics are ..." and you don't say "maths are". It's a singular noun that just happens to end with an "s". It's got nothing to do with pluralising normally uncountable nouns to talk about multiple varieties.
I thought that "maths" class meant studying different types of math: arithmatic, geometry, calculus, functions, trigonometry.
I would say, "pastas", "cheeses", "meats", and "fruits" if I were talking about the number of types. But I would use the collective most often.
American here. It occurs to me that in a supermarket context in the US, and apparently in Canada as well, one is more likely to refer to jellies than to jams. You buy jam in the same section of the store, but the sign hanging over the aisle says "jelly", not "jam". "Where are the jellies" sounds more natural than "where are the jams" perhaps in part because in this part of the world "jelly" is the supercategory of which "jam" is a subtype. On the other hand, "jams and jellies" sounds fine. And I don't find "jams" objectionable either as a plurality of types, just a little less usual.
"Hilloa" is the partitive of "hillo", so you need to use it whenever the partitive is needed. "Hillot" is the plural nominative of "hillo", and so whenever you are talking about "jams" and need the nominative, this is the word to use.
The partitive is a slightly tricky case, since it's quite versatile, but it could be used in e.g.:
"Minä rakastan hilloa." - I love jam. - the partitive is used here because the word "rakastaa" requires the object to be in partitive
"Syötkö sinä hilloa?" - Are you eating jam?" - the partitive is used because the word "hillo" is a partial object and the target of an ongoing action.
You'd use the plural nominative e.g. if the jams are the subject of the sentence.
"Hillot maistuvat hyvältä." - The jams taste good.
Technically, you can pluralize 'jam' in English if you're talking about different brands or flavors, but I would never say this in the supermarket or any other place where I'm inquiring about the general location of jam. I'd say "Where is the jam?" or "Where can I find jam?"
This is "Who is looking for the bird?" all over again, and I don't understand why this course keeps trying to make direct translations for grammatical features that are very different between the two languages. Yes, Finnish has singular and plural versions of most of its fifteen cases, and it's important to know the difference in Finnish, but I don't think the English speaker learning Finnish should be marked wrong for translating the Finnish example into a more natural expression in English: "Where is the jam?"
For certain nouns in English, the uncountable version (can't be pluralized) is the unmarked usage and the countable version (may be pluralized) is the marked usage. The speaker uses the marked version for specific purposes, and if you use the marked expression when the unmarked one is perfectly fine, it really clangs. 'Jam,' 'meat,' and 'water' are examples of those kinds of nouns.
Interesting discussion as always! Can't comment on the Finnish, so will just say 'jams' makes me think more in a musical context, and 'where's the jam?' is probably how I'd phrase questions in a shop (UK). Not saying I'm right -- I just do. Same with 'fish', 'pasta', 'yoghurt', 'chocolate' etc. as someone else said. They all get lumped into one entity lol :)
Preserves are synonymous with jams and the English usage of each is largely regional. According to Merriam-Webster: "Definition of preserve (noun) 1 : fruit canned or made into jams or jellies or cooked whole or in large pieces in a syrup so as to keep its shape —often used in plural," and as such, should be accepted. [Reported]