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Jun 29 2017

English Lessons Houston – Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Nouns – Countable and Uncountable

 

Hi Students!  Here is a lesson on countable and uncountable nouns.  Please study these so that you will understand the differences.

Countable

Countable nouns are the names of objects you can count. You can use a/an with countable nouns. Countable nouns also have plurals.

Examples:

  • I would like to eat an orange
  • This material weighs three grams
  • I am familiar with a few cultures in Africa.
  • My wife wants to buy several acres in Arizona.
  • Last year, volunteers planted a million trees in California.

Uncountable

Uncountable nouns are the names of objects that you cannot count. They may represent mass nouns (such as oil), abstract ideas (such as leadership) or general words (food, etc.). We cannot use a/an with uncountable nouns and there in no plural form.

Examples:

  • I need to buy some flour to make cookies.
  • Please cut the grass
  • The new iPhone features the latest
  • I would like to have some more
  • When there is rain, sometimes you can see lightning in the sky.

Countable and Uncountable

A bit of, a lot of, some, any, and the can be used with countable and uncountable nouns. Advice, equipment and information are uncountable nouns. We do not use these nouns with a/an, and they have no plurals.

Examples:

  • I could give you a lot of advice on that topic for your interview.
  • Could you give me any information?
  • She brought some equipment with her.

You can use a countable noun before an uncountable noun if you want to quantify it.

Examples:

  • Could we buy two bags of flour?
  • We need a new piece of information.

Some nouns have countable and uncountable forms with different meanings.

Examples:

  • I love chocolate.

(uncountable – chocolate in general)

  • That store sells healthy chocolate.

(countable – varieties of chocolate)

 

  • She ordered a coffee.

(countable – referring to one cup of coffee)

  • Would he like to order coffee?

(uncountable – coffee in general)

 

  • There is no truth in those rumors.

(uncountable – quality/state of being true)

  • The fundamental truths about food and digestion are simple to understand.

(countable – referring to facts/beliefs that are accurate)

 

Some nouns tend to be uncountable in general usage and are often used as countable nouns in more of a technical sense.

Examples:

  • new radiation technologies
  • We produce music.

Often, the countable noun and its uncountable equivalent are completely different words.

Examples:

  • We’ve got to make rolls before our guests arrive.

(countable)

  • We’ve got to make bread before our guests arrive.

(uncountable)

 

  • Lighting was spotted crossing the sky at 4 o’clock in the morning.

(uncountable)

  • A flash of lightning was spotted crossing the sky at 4 o’clock in the morning.

(countable)

 

Good luck with your practice of countable and uncountable nouns!

 

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