Countable Nouns and Uncountable Nouns

By | September 25, 2020

Nouns :

name a person place thing or idea

There are countable nouns and uncountable nouns :

Countable nouns

  1. These are nouns we can count
  2. These nouns have a singular and a plural form (we can make the plural form by adding s/es)
    Examples :
    apple (singular) à apples (plural)
    mango( singular) à magoes (plural)
  3. We can use a number, a or an before the noun
    Example :
    there is an apple  (so we know that there is only one Apple)
    there is a banana (there is only one banana)
  4. Singular verbs are used with singular countable nouns
    Example :
    there is an apple
  5. Plural vrbs are used with plural countable nouns
    example ;
    there are three apples
    (used the plural verb are,  this is another rule of countable nouns that plural verbs are, used with plural countable nouns.)

There are other ways we can describe the quantity of plural countable nouns we can use words : few, many, some, a lot of, no.

Example :
there are some apples in the basket
there are no apples in the basket

A few examples in a sentence  for countable noun :

  • I would like an apple, please.
  • Those houses look beautiful
  • There is a school near my house
  • There are some eggs in the fridge

Uncountable nouns

  1. These are nouns we can’t count
  2. These nouns are always singular (can’t add S or ES)
  3. We don’t use a number a or an before the noun
  4. Always use singular verbs for uncountable nounsExample : cheese

    Wrong sentence : there is a cheese, there is one cheese, there are some cheese
    Right sentence : there is some cheese

There are other ways we can quantify uncountable nouns we can say:
some, much, little, a lot of,  no or not much

Few examples of uncountable nouns in a sentence :

  • I would like some milk
  • Can you give me some bread
  • There is not much information about the hotel
  • I have a lot of money

Exceptions :

  1. We can use a number a or an with uncountable nouns
  2. When we use another countable noun with itExample:

    There is some juice
    There are two glasses of juice (we’re using the plural verb are because we are counting the number of glasses)

    There is a lot of bread
    There are 11 slices of bread (we can count the number of slices)

Some nouns can be both countable and uncountable. The meaning changes depending on the context

example :  chicken

We can say that there are five chickens on the farm
(here we’re referring to the type of animal on the farm and we can count the number of chickens so it’s countable)

However when we use this in a different context

for example :

I ate chicken for dinner
(in this example we’re referring to the food which is uncountable so the noun means different things in each)

example : glass

I would like a glass of water,  please
(in this example we’re referring to the container that we drink from, we can count the number of glasses therefore its countable)

The door is made of glass
(in this example we’re referring to the material glass rather than the glass we drink from)