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What are countable and uncountable nouns? Definition & Examples

by Sep 12, 2019English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

What are countable and uncountable nouns

What are countable and uncountable nouns?

What are countable and uncountable nouns

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What are countable and uncountable nouns

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What are countable and uncountable nouns

What are countable and uncountable nouns

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Asked by @ Salai Lalte (Community Student)

What are countable and uncountable nouns

Answered by @ Elo Kasia

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What are countable and uncountable nouns

 

What are countable and uncountable nouns English for Beginners: Countable & Uncountable Nouns

 

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What are countable and uncountable nouns Question Time: What are countable and uncountable nouns?

 

What are countable and uncountable nouns  @ Salai Lalte, Thank you for your question

What are countable and uncountable nouns  As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.

 

What are nouns?

 

A noun can be countable or uncountable.
 
 
Countable nouns can be singular (one) or plural (two or more). You always have to add a/an (or the) in the singular before a noun and in the plural you normally add -s (with some exceptions).
 
  • Singular: a car, my car, the car
  • Plural: cars, two cars, some cars, many cars.

 

Uncountable nouns are usually liquids or materials composed of small particles, which we consider “in mass”, such as flour, water, tea, milk and abstract ideas or qualities, such as love, fear, knowledge, music, etc. They cannot be “counted” and only have one form (singular).

  • Water, my water, the water, some water but we cannot say a water
  • You cannot use a/ an with the meaning of one but instead we often use a piece of …, a glass of …
  • A glass of water, a piece of chalk, a bottle of milk, a piece of music, a bar of chocolate, a cup of tea and so on.

 

Some and any are often used to express quantity with:

  • n countable nouns in plural
  • n uncountable nouns in the singular form
 
 
Some is generally used for positive sentences and any for questions and negatives.
 
 

Countable:

  • I’m buying a new car. / There were some cars parked in the company carpark.
  • Were there any cars outside the house? We don’t sell any second-hand cars.
  • Can I have an orange? / She bought some oranges at the market.
  • Do we need any oranges? I’m going to the shop. She didn’t bring any oranges home.
  • We can ask a question “how many” with all countable nouns.
  • Ex. How many classes did you have today?

 

Uncountable:

(make sure you use the verb in singular form)

  • I need some money. (yes, money is uncountable). / We don’t want any money./ Is there any money left?
  • We have to buy some flour for the recipe./ Is there any flour in the cupboard? / This cake can be made without any flour.
  • I’m going to have some coffee before I go. / Is there any coffee left?/ I don’t want any coffee.
 
 
We use “how much”? (not how many) to ask about quantity when using uncountable nouns.
 
 
How much sugar do I put in the cake? How much water do you drink a day?
 
 
To turn these questions into “How many”, you need to specify the “container” they are in, so, you can say “How many spoons of sugar do I need?” or “How many glasses of water do you drink?
 
 
Some nouns, depending on the context can be countable or uncountable.
 
  • A cake, some cakes (small cakes) but also some cake or a piece of cake when we talk about a normal size cake
  • A chicken (the whole bird) but some chicken (a piece of chicken on a plate)
  • A paper (newspaper) but some paper (writing or toilet paper)
 
 
Some nouns are almost always uncountable:
 
  • Information, advice, weather, news, bread, hair, furniture, work
 
 
The difference between countable and uncountable is sometimes difficult to understand. Make sure you follow our *TT exercises to get as much practice as possible. Talk about everyday objects and try to divide them into two groups. Can you say “a/an” or do you have to say “some”. With time you will have no difficulty recognising them. Make sure that you memorise the irregular and forms which differ from your native language.
 
 
 
 
 
 

What are countable and uncountable nouns Elo Kasia

What are countable and uncountable nouns

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