Basic English Grammar :COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

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COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

Countable and Uncountable Noun

It’s important to distinguish between countable and uncountable nouns in English because their usage is different in regards to both determiners and verbs.

Example:

Singular          Plural

one horse     two horses

one man       two men

one idea            two ideas

one shop           two shops


EXAMPLES

She has three dogs.

I own a house.

I would like two books, please.

How many friends do you have?

 

UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

Uncountable nouns are the things that we cannot count with numbers. They may be the names for abstract ideas or qualities or for physical objects that are too small or too amorphous to be counted (liquids, powders, gases, etc.). Uncountable nouns are used with a singular verb. They usually do not have a plural form.

EXAMPLES

Sugar                                                      water

air

rice

knowledge

beauty

 

We cannot use a/an with these nouns. To express a quantity of an uncountable noun, use a word or expression like some, a lot of, much, a bit of, a great deal of, or else use an exact measurement like a cup of, a bag of, 1kg of, 1L of, a handful of, a pinch of, an hour of, a day of. If you want to ask about the quantity of a uncountable noun, you ask “How much?”

 

EXAMPLES

 

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

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

Can you give me some information about uncountable nouns?

He did not have much sugar left.

 

TRICKY SPOTS

Some nouns are countable in other languages but uncountable in English. They must follow the rules for uncountable nouns. The most common ones are:
accommodation, advice, baggage, behavior, bread, furniture, information, luggage, news, progress, traffic, travel, trouble, weather, work

EXAMPLES

  • I would like to give you some advice.
  • How much bread should I bring?
  • I didn’t make much progress today.
  • This looks like a lot of trouble to me.

Be careful with the noun hair which is normally uncountable in English, so it is not used in the plural. It can be countable only when referring to individual hairs.

 

EXAMPLES

She has long blond hair.

The child’s hair was curly.

I washed my hair yesterday.

 

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Countable and Uncountable Noun

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