In English, there are two kinds of nouns: count nouns and non-count nouns. It is important to understand the difference between them, because they often use different articles, and non-count nouns usually have no plural

1.Countable nouns

They deal with things that we can count: one dog, a mule, one man, the barber shop. They usually have a singular and plural form: two dogs, ten mules, six men, ten barber shops.

2. Uncountable nouns They deal with things that we do not usually count: tea, sugar, water, air, rice, etc. or for abstract ideas or qualities such as knowledge, beauty, anger, fear, love.They do not usually have a plural form. Examples of common uncountable nouns:
money, advice, information, furniture, happiness, sadness, news, research, evidence, safety, beauty, knowledge.You can usually work out whether a noun is count or non-count by thinking about it. Count nouns are usually objects which can be counted. Non-count nouns are often substances (such as sand, water or rice) which cannot be easily counted, or they may be large abstract ideas such as “nature”, “space” or “entertainment”.
You can put “a” or “an” before count nouns. For example: I have an apple.

She doesn’t need a table. You can also use “How many” with count nouns: How many horses are there in the farm?
You can put
“some” before noncount nouns.

For example: I have some chocolate at the party. I just had some rice for lunch. You can also use “How much” with non-count nouns: How much traffic is there in San Francisco?

3. Container, Piece, and Measurement Words

 Many things that you can buy in a supermarket are noncount i.e. soap, cereal, butter, beef, ice, etc. However, we often want to talk about certain quantities of these things. In order to do this, we divide them into units that can be counted. Here is where the container words become handy.
Container words.: a can of…, a box of…, a bowl of …, a glass of …i.e. I bought two boxes of cereal.
Piece words: a piece of, a slice of…, a bar of …i.e. A slice of pizza. Who needs a piece of paper?
Measurement words: a quart of…, a liter of…: i.e. She has to get two quarts of milk.At the brunch, Angela had a bowl of Jell-O, a piece of cake, two slices of cheese, and a cup of coffee.  


April 11, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Hey there!
    Since you’re interested in countable and uncountable nouns you might have enjoy watching some videos that I have made on the topic. Please check out http://www.youtube.com/countables
    Hope you enjoy them!

    Comment by Marcus | April 14, 2007 | Reply

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