♔ COUNTABLE & UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

In English, there are two kinds of nouns:   THE COUNTABLE NOUNS and THE UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

It is important to understand the difference between them, because they often use different articles, and the uncountable nouns usually have no plural. They can never be quantified with any numbers.

 

1. Countable nouns :

They deal with things that we can count:

One dog, a man, an idea, one child, the shop.

They usually have a singular and a plural form:

Two dogs, ten men, a few ideas, six children, ten shops.

You can put "a" or "an" before countable nouns.

 

For example: I have an apple. She doesn't need a table.

You can also use "How many" with countable nouns:

How many cows are there in the farm?

 

2. Uncountable nouns :

They deal with things that we do not usually count:

Tea, sugar, water, air, rice, ... or for abstract ideas or qualities such as knowledge, beauty, anger, love...

They do not usually have a plural form.

They are used with a singular verb.

 

For example: There has been a lot of research into the causes of this disease.

He gave me a great deal of advice before my interview.

They've got a lot of furniture.

Can you give me some information about uncountable nouns?

You can also use "How much" with uncountable nouns:

How much traffic is there in London?

 

To express an amount of an uncountable noun, you must use other words such as SOME, AN ITEM, A PIECE OF, A CUP OF or A GLASS OF.

A piece of information.

Two items of clothing.

A piece of news.

Some water.

A dictionary will tell you whether a noun is countable or uncountable.

Look at these symbols: [C] : countable noun and [U] : uncountable noun.

 

But be careful, some nouns are countable in other languages but uncountable in English.  Some of the most common of these are in the table below. Why not try to memorize them all ?

UNCOUTABLE NOUNSUNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
ACCOMMODATION MONEY
ADVICE NEWS
BAGGAGE PROGRESS
BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH
BREAD EQUIPMENT
TOAST FURNITURE
TRAFFIC HOMEWORK
INFORMATION TROUBLE
KNOWLEDGE WEATHER
LUGGAGE WORK
TRAVEL SOFTWARE
SOAP HAIR
RUBBISH SHOPPING
DATA CLOTHING

 

After reading this lesson you may want to do some exercises, then click HERE.

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