Countable and uncountable noun

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Defining whether a word is countable or uncountable helps choose suitable article (a/an) and verb forms (singular or plural).

Countable nouns

  • refer to things that we can count
  • have singular or plural forms. Singular form can be preceded by determiner a/an, while the plural form may be used with some

Singular countable nouns

Plural countable nouns

a lamp

some/ two lamps 

a laptop

some/ three laptops

a pear

some/ five pears

a cat

some/ two cats

a school

some/ four schools

an apple

some/ nine apples

an elephant

some/ ten elephants

an umbrella

some/ two umbrellas

  • There are ten apples on the table. Some apples are red, while others are green.
  • This is an apple. It’s red.
  • Yesterday my mom gave me a new laptop for my birthday. Now I have two laptops.

Uncountable nouns

  • refer to things that we cannot count
  • always have singular form and take singular verb

Food and drinks

Daily life things

Feelings

wine

housework

love

water

homework

beauty

juice

equipment

humor

milk

garbage (rubbish)

help

lemonade

trash

assistance

meat

dust

advice

tea

dirt

information

coffee

rain

knowledge

pork

time

beef

air

sugar

baggage (luggage)

salt

evidence

cheese

oil

rice

butter

chicken

honey

fruit

bread

  • Would you like to order some drinks?/ Yes. Please give me some orange juice.
  • Peter, don’t be lazy. You have a lot of homework to do today.
  • Please give me some help. I don’t know how to solve this Math problem.

Vocabulary you need to know about uncountable nouns

A glass of water

A jar of olives

A cup of tea

A bowl of sugar

A bottle of orange juice

A slice of meat

A can of coke/ beer

A kilo of rice

A carton of milk

A bag of money

A loaf of bread

A piece of cake

A bar of chocolate

* Note:

List of quantifiers that can be used with countable and uncountable nouns

Quantifiers

Countable nouns

Uncountable nouns

some, any

some, any

some, any

much, many

many

much

lots of, a lot of

lots of, a lot of

lots of, a lot of

a little, a few

a few

a little

a number of, an amount of

a number of

an amount of

  • She needed a large amount of money in order to run her own business.
  • How much time do you need to finish this exercise?
  • How many students are there in your class?
  • Would you like any water?

 

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