Examples of Matter

Hint: They're all around us

Illustration of examples of matter

Illustration by Ashley Nicole Deleon. ThoughtCo.

Can you name 10 examples of matter? Matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space. Everything is made of matter, so any object you can name consists of matter. Basically, if it takes up space and has mass, it's matter.

Examples of Matter Around Us

  • An apple
  • A person
  • A table
  • Air
  • Water
  • A computer
  • Paper
  • Iron
  • Ice cream
  • Wood
  • Mars
  • Sand
  • A rock
  • The sun
  • A spider
  • A tree
  • Paint
  • Snow
  • Clouds
  • A sandwich
  • A fingernail
  • Lettuce

As you can see, any physical object consists of matter. It doesn't matter whether it's an atom, element, compound, or mixture. It's all matter.

How to Tell What Is and Is Not Matter

Not everything you encounter in the world is matter. Matter can be converted into energy, which has neither mass nor volume. So, light, sound, and heat don't matter. Most objects have both matter and some form of energy, so the distinction can be tricky. For example, a candle flame certainly emits energy (light and heat), but it also contains gasses and soot, so it still matters. How can you tell what's the matter? Seeing or hearing it isn't sufficient. Matter is anything you can weigh, touch, taste, or smell.