COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

schlechte horror spiele In the English language, nouns are separated into two categories as the countable and uncountable nouns. The countable nouns, as the name suggests, are the ones that can be counted by cardinal numbers; the uncountable nouns cannot be used in the same way. In the English language, “countable nouns” have plural forms – when we speak about an item that is more than one, we use the plural form of that noun. Most of the nouns are countable. When a countable noun is used as an indefinite singular noun , it receives “a/an” is placed before the noun.

den der ler sidst ler bedst On the contrary, the uncountable nouns do not have plural forms. Most of the “uncountable nouns” or “mass nouns” in the English language are abstract nouns.

ruby laser autonivel there There also are nouns that have exceptional cases. Such nouns can appear either as countable or uncountable, according to their particular use in a specific sentence. We will discuss these nouns further later below.

Below are a few clues to define a number of clues to determine whether a noun is countable or uncountable:

  • We can determine whether a noun is countable or uncountable by using simple logic. Depending on the context they are used, we can think whether we would mention the number of these items. Still, in cases where you cannot decide for certain, you may use a dictionary to be on the safe side.

 

Ex:

Pencil, chair, bottle, etc.

 

  • Would you like some tea? (uncountable: one type of drink)
  • Phillip ordered a tea for me. (countable:a cup of tea)
  • We’re on the sixth floor, room 609. (countable: room number)
  • I can’t sit there, there’s not enough room. (uncountable: “room” refers to space)

 

Let us now focus on the use of countable nouns:

  • We have already stated that countable nouns are used with “a” or “an” when they are used as indefinite nouns:

I saw a man there, about an hour ago.

 

  • When a countable noun is used in a sentence, it must be used with possessive or demonstrative adjectives:

This man kept standing behind my car.

 

  • When these nouns are used in their plural forms, they do not receive “a” or “an”.

Men love sports, gadgets, food and cars.

 

And now let’s focus on the use of uncountable nouns:

  • These nouns are considered to be singular, and the verbs in those sentences must be conjugated accordingly:

Money isn’t everything.

 

  • Indefinite articles cannot be used with uncountable nouns, unless they are used with partitives. In such cases they are used with a word indicating measurement, forming the structure: “a/an + measurement + noun”:

Back home safely, I made a pot of tea.
“a tablespoon of sugar”

“two slices of bread”

 

  • As seen in the above example (“a slice of bread”), “bread,” in the English language, is an uncountable noun. Nevertheless, you may also come across sentences where bread is used a countable noun.

”I want to buy three breads: a loaf of whole wheat bread, a white loaf and a loaf of gluten-free.”

 

A list of words indicating measurement:

A bar of chocolate

A bottle of milk 

A bowl of soup 

A box of paper 

A can of coke 

A carton of milk 

A cup of coffee 

A drop of oil 

A glass of wine 

A grain of sand 

A jar of honey 

A piece of glass 

A roll of toilet paper 

A slice of cheese 

A spoonful of salt

A tablespoon of sugar 

A teaspoon of syrup 

A tube of toothpaste 

An item of clothing 

A bag of rice 

 

Below you can find the words that can be used with only countable or only uncountable nouns:

Words that can be used only with uncountable nouns:

  • Few, fewer
    There are a few people sitting at the bench.

More bicycles, fewer cars.

 

  • Many
    Do you get many visitors?

 

  • Several
    I needed to read it several times in order to fully understand its meaning.

 

Words that can be used only with uncountable nouns:

  • Little, less, least
    People today have less time to exercise.

 

  • Much
    She didn’t say much about her trip.

 

Other related phrases:

Uncountable ––– Countable

She doesn’t have much money. – She doesn’t have many friends.

How much time do you have? – How many games do you have?

There is a little butter in the fridge. – There are a few rooms still available.

 

Due to their way of formation, some sentences require the nouns to be plural:

 

  • I like watching films. (correct)
    I like watching film. (wrong)

 

  • Jealous children are always causing problems.
    Jealous children are always causing problem. (wrong)

 

Nouns that are both countable and uncountable:

As we have mentioned above, some nouns can be both countable and uncountable depending on the context they are used in.

Capital:                stock/money | capital city
Drama:                 theater | drama
Exercise               sports | practice
Experience:       exercise/practice | know-how
Film:                      film industry | movie
Fire:                      bonfire | shooting
Glass:                   glass as a material | a glass cup
Hair:                      hair on the head | any type of hair anywhere on the body
Interest:              enthusiasm | Hobby
Iron:                      iron as the material | the tool for flattening clothes
Language:           rhetoric | tongue
Life:                       liveliness, length of time spent alive | soul
Light:                    beam of light | lamp/light bulb
Noise:                  loud and unpleasant sound | a specific sound
Paper:                  a thin material produced by pressing fibers together | sheet of paper to write on
Room:                  room of a house | space
Time:                    limited space of time | indefinite continuous duration
Wood:                  timber | a small forest
Work:                   profession | product