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Last Updated October 15, 2020, 1:25 pm 🖶
Modified this week 4 days ago October 15, 2020, 1:25 pm

Countable nouns

Banana is countable. It can be singular (Banana) or plural Bananas. One banana two bananas three bananas four...

Countable nouns use language like:

  1. How many people are there?
  2. Are there any people

Non-Countable nouns

uncountable nouns use language like:
  1. How much paint is there?
  2. Is there any paint?
  3. Can I have some paint?

Note: Some nouns can be both countable and non-countable in different situations:

Beer and milk are non-countable but we can say "Would you like a beer?". We are talking about a bottle of beer.
Also:
  1. How many fish did you catch.
  2. How much fish would you like (to eat).
  3. How much experience do you have.
  4. I had many pleasant experiences.
Many non-countable nouns can be counted using special count words. See : Counting the non-countable.
Check the Array

Countable and Uncountable Nouns.

To find out whether a noun is a count or a noncount noun decide whether you can count the things.

Count nouns refer to things that can be seen as separate discrete units.


people count money all the time but don't say "How many money do you have? To count money we have to use a currency rather than numbers. We can't say "I have three monies"

Example Countable Nouns

  1. table
  2. chair
  3. word
  4. finger
  5. remark
  6. girl
  7. bottle
  8. award
  9. candidate

Example Sentences

  1. I stepped in a puddle.
    (How many puddles did you step in? Just one.)
  2. I drank a glass of milk. (Glasses of milk can be counted)
  3. I saw an apple tree. (Apple trees can be counted)

Non-count nouns (uncountable nouns)

Non-count nouns refer to things that can't be counted because they are thought of as wholes that can't be cut into parts. They often refer to abstractions and occasionally have a collective meaning (for example, furniture).

Examples

anger, furniture, warmth, courage, education, leisure, progress, weather, precision

Example Sentences

  1. I dove into the water. (How many waters did you dive into? The question doesn't make any sense; therefore water is noncountable.)
  2. I saw the milk spill. (How many milks? Milk cannot be counted.)
  3. I admired the foliage. (How many foliages? Foliage cannot be counted.)
  4. I found some information. (How many information? I don't know exactly, just as much as I need. = Uncountable)

Think of the batter from which a cake is made. Before you put the batter into the oven, it can't be divided into parts because it's a thick liquid. Once it has been baked, it becomes solid enough to be cut into pieces. Noncount nouns are like cake batter; count nouns are like pieces of cake

Counting things in English which are not usually countable!

Although non-count nouns are supposed to be uncountable, we sometimes need to count them. At least, we sometimes need to explain the quantity of something which is non-count. We can do this by using a measurement word, or counter, like this:

useful measurement words for uncountable nouns

It's useful to learn some of the most common measurement words and how they are used. Here are some examples:

Countable forms of nouns which are usually uncountable

Sometimes a noun has countable and uncountable forms depending on the situation. For example.

  1. I have not had much exercise recently. (uncountable form)
  2. please do exercises 3 and 4 from your text book. (countable form)
  3. How much food did you eat yesterday? (uncountable form)
  4. Our company produce foods for many different markets. (countable - emphasising the different varieties and products)
A bar of chocolate Chocolate bar Two loaves of bread Two Loaves of bread Three slices of meat Three Slices of meat
Measurement wordNouns used with it
bar chocolate, soap
cube sugar, ice
gametennis, soccer, cards
glasswine, beer, water, juice
pieceadvice, information, baggage, clothing, furniture, homework, machinery

plural verb agreement with uncountable nouns

Nouns such as civics, mathematics, measles, and news require singular verbs. This is because they are un-countable. units of measurement are not the main noun. (eg: dollars, years, and miles, are used to measure another noun which is un-countable.)

plural unit words of distance, money, and time. take a singular verb because they are uncountable
  1. 300 miles is a long ways to go on a bicycle. (distance)
  2. Three hundred dollars seems a lot to spend on a dress. (money)
  3. Fifteen years is a long time to spend in jail.

Grammar Focus

Countable nouns

Banana is countable. It can be singular (Banana) or plural Bananas. One banana two bananas three bananas four...

Countable nouns use language like:

  1. How many people are there?
  2. Are there any people

Non-Countable nouns

uncountable nouns use language like:
  1. How much paint is there?
  2. Is there any paint?
  3. Can I have some paint?

Note: Some nouns can be both countable and non-countable in different situations:

Beer and milk are non-countable but we can say "Would you like a beer?". We are talking about a bottle of beer.
Also:
  1. How many fish did you catch.
  2. How much fish would you like (to eat).
  3. How much experience do you have.
  4. I had many pleasant experiences.
Many non-countable nouns can be counted using special count words. See : Counting the non-countable.
Array

Test Your Count/Non-count Grammar knowledge

1
Both much and many are used to talk about an indefinite quantity or number. Note that much is used before an uncountable noun. Many is used before a countable noun. A countable noun refers to something that can be counted. Examples are: pen, book, man, flower etc. An uncountable noun refers to something that cannot be counted. Examples are: rice, milk, oil, sand etc. Complete the following sentences choosing much or many with the correct form of the present tense verbs and some adjectives.
"A few" and "few" are used with countable nouns, "A little" and "little" are used with uncountable nouns. Without "a" Little / few means less than expected or wanted.

Make a correct sentence with these words. Choose the correct form of the verbs in brackets and select the correct word from options in square brackets []

  1. [This/these] information(s) (be) very important.
  2. Traffic (be) _____ slow today. (be)
  3. The trees (need) more water.
  4. The grass (need) more water, too.
  5. You know so [much/many] vocabulary.
  6. Your hair(s) (look) clean.
  7. How [much/many] apple (be) in the pie?
  8. How [much/many] milk do you buy every day?
  9. How [many peacocks (be) there in the zoo?
  10. How [much/many] metres of cloth do you require for your dress?
  11. How [much/many] money did you pay for this course?
  12. There are [much/many] trees in the garden.
  13. There isn't [much/many] oil in the bottle.
  14. He hasn't got [much/many] friends.
  15. [A little/A few] students did not take the examination.
  16. There (be) [a little/a few] dirt on the table.
  17. How [much/many] asparagus(es) would you like?
  18. How many asparagus _____ would you like?
  19. How [much/many] celler(y/ies) would you like?
2

Directions

Choose "much" or "many" for each sentence.
  1. How _____ time do you need?
  2. How _____ people did you meet?
  3. There weren't ______ apples left in the basket.
  4. There wasn't _____ food in the refrigerator.
  5. Too _____ energy is wasted.
  6. Too _____ people are in the car.
3
Decide whether each sentence is correct or incorrect.
  1. This could cost you a bunch of money.
  2. This is a great work.
  3. Do you know a vocabulary for this?
4
Make two sentences, one using a countable form and another an uncountable form of the noun.
  1. communication.

Countable and Uncountable Nouns.

To find out whether a noun is a count or a noncount noun decide whether you can count the things.

Count nouns refer to things that can be seen as separate discrete units.

Noms d?©nombrables font r?©f?©rence ?  des choses qui peuvent ??tre compt?©es


people count money all the time but don't say "How many money do you have? To count money we have to use a currency rather than numbers. We can't say "I have three monies"

Example Countable Nouns

  1. table
  2. chair
  3. word
  4. finger
  5. remark
  6. girl
  7. bottle
  8. award
  9. candidate

Example Sentences

  1. I stepped in a puddle.
    (How many puddles did you step in? Just one.)
  2. I drank a glass of milk. (Glasses of milk can be counted)
  3. I saw an apple tree. (Apple trees can be counted)

Non-count nouns (uncountable nouns)

Non-count nouns refer to things that can't be counted because they are thought of as wholes that can't be cut into parts. They often refer to abstractions and occasionally have a collective meaning (for example, furniture).
Noms ind?©nombrables se r?©f??rent ?  de la mati??re, ou ?  une r?©alit?© abstraite qu'on ne peut compter par unit?©s (par exemple, le mobilier).

Examples

anger, furniture, warmth, courage, education, leisure, progress, weather, precision

Example Sentences

  1. I dove into the water. (How many waters did you dive into? The question doesn't make any sense; therefore water is noncountable.)
  2. I saw the milk spill. (How many milks? Milk cannot be counted.)
  3. I admired the foliage. (How many foliages? Foliage cannot be counted.)
  4. I found some information. (How many information? I don't know exactly, just as much as I need. = Uncountable)

Think of the batter from which a cake is made. Before you put the batter into the oven, it can't be divided into parts because it's a thick liquid. Once it has been baked, it becomes solid enough to be cut into pieces. Noncount nouns are like cake batter; count nouns are like pieces of cake

Counting things in English which are not usually countable!

Although non-count nouns are supposed to be uncountable, we sometimes need to count them. At least, we sometimes need to explain the quantity of something which is non-count. We can do this by using a measurement word, or counter, like this:

useful measurement words for uncountable nouns

It's useful to learn some of the most common measurement words and how they are used. Here are some examples:

Countable forms of nouns which are usually uncountable

Sometimes a noun has countable and uncountable forms depending on the situation. For example.

  1. I have not had much exercise recently. (uncountable form)
  2. please do exercises 3 and 4 from your text book. (countable form)
  3. How much food did you eat yesterday? (uncountable form)
  4. Our company produce foods for many different markets. (countable - emphasising the different varieties and products)
A bar of chocolate Chocolate bar Two loaves of bread Two Loaves of bread Three slices of meat Three Slices of meat
Measurement wordNouns used with it
bar chocolate, soap
cube sugar, ice
gametennis, soccer, cards
glasswine, beer, water, juice
pieceadvice, information, baggage, clothing, furniture, homework, machinery

plural verb agreement with uncountable nouns

Nouns such as civics, mathematics, measles, and news require singular verbs. This is because they are un-countable. units of measurement are not the main noun. (eg: dollars, years, and miles, are used to measure another noun which is un-countable.)

plural unit words of distance, money, and time. take a singular verb because they are uncountable
  1. 300 miles is a long ways to go on a bicycle. (distance)
  2. Three hundred dollars seems a lot to spend on a dress. (money)
  3. Fifteen years is a long time to spend in jail.

Grammar Focus

Countable nouns

Banana is countable. It can be singular (Banana) or plural Bananas. One banana two bananas three bananas four...

Countable nouns use language like:

  1. How many people are there?
  2. Are there any people

Non-Countable nouns

uncountable nouns use language like:
  1. How much paint is there?
  2. Is there any paint?
  3. Can I have some paint?

Note: Some nouns can be both countable and non-countable in different situations:

Beer and milk are non-countable but we can say "Would you like a beer?". We are talking about a bottle of beer.
Also:
  1. How many fish did you catch.
  2. How much fish would you like (to eat).
  3. How much experience do you have.
  4. I had many pleasant experiences.
Many non-countable nouns can be counted using special count words. Array

Test Your Count/Non-count Grammar knowledge

5
Both much and many are used to talk about an indefinite quantity or number. Note that much is used before an uncountable noun. Many is used before a countable noun. A countable noun refers to something that can be counted. Examples are: pen, book, man, flower etc. An uncountable noun refers to something that cannot be counted. Examples are: rice, milk, oil, sand etc. Complete the following sentences choosing much or many with the correct form of the present tense verbs and some adjectives.
"A few" and "few" are used with countable nouns, "A little" and "little" are used with uncountable nouns. Without "a" Little / few means less than expected or wanted.

Make a correct sentence with these words. Choose the correct form of the verbs in brackets and select the correct word from options in square brackets []

  1. [This/these] information(s) (be) very important.
  2. Traffic (be) _____ slow today. (be)
  3. The trees (need) more water.
  4. The grass (need) more water, too.
  5. You know so [much/many] vocabulary.
  6. Your hair(s) (look) clean.
  7. How [much/many] apple (be) in the pie?
  8. How [much/many] milk do you buy every day?
  9. How [many peacocks (be) there in the zoo?
  10. How [much/many] metres of cloth do you require for your dress?
  11. How [much/many] money did you pay for this course?
  12. There are [much/many] trees in the garden.
  13. There isn't [much/many] oil in the bottle.
  14. He hasn't got [much/many] friends.
  15. [A little/A few] students did not take the examination.
  16. There (be) [a little/a few] dirt on the table.
  17. How [much/many] asparagus(es) would you like?
  18. How many asparagus _____ would you like?
  19. How [much/many] celler(y/ies) would you like?
Show Answers 6

Directions

Choose "much" or "many" for each sentence.
  1. How _____ time do you need?
  2. How _____ people did you meet?
  3. There weren't ______ apples left in the basket.
  4. There wasn't _____ food in the refrigerator.
  5. Too _____ energy is wasted.
  6. Too _____ people are in the car.
7
Decide whether each sentence is correct or incorrect.
  1. This could cost you a bunch of money.
  2. This is a great work.
  3. Do you know a vocabulary for this?

Counting nouns - What is a non-countable noun?

Count nouns (Countable nouns)

To find out whether a noun is a count or a noncount noun decide whether you can count the things.

Count nouns refer to things that can be seen as separate discrete units.

Noms dénombrables font référence à des choses qui peuvent être comptées


people count money all the time but don't say "How many money do you have? To count money we have to use a currency rather than numbers. We can't say "I have three monies"

Example nouns

  • table
  • chair
  • word
  • finger
  • remark
  • girl
  • bottle
  • award
  • candidate

Example sentences

  1. I stepped in a puddle.
    (How many puddles did you step in? Just one.)
    Splash
  2. I drank a glass of milk. (Glasses of milk can be counted)
  3. I saw an apple tree. (Apple trees can be counted) Tree

Non-count nouns (uncountable nouns)

Non-count nouns refer to things that can't be counted because they are thought of as wholes that can't be cut into parts. They often refer to abstractions and occasionally have a collective meaning (for example, furniture).

Noms indénombrables se réfèrent à de la matière, ou à une réalité abstraite qu'on ne peut compter par unités (par exemple, le mobilier).

Examples

anger
furniture
warmth

courage
education
leisure

progress
weather
precision

Example Sentences

  1. I dove into the water. (How many waters did you dive into? The question doesn't make any sense; therefore water is noncountable.)
  2. I saw the milk spill. (How many milks? Milk cannot be counted.)
  3. I admired the foliage. (How many foliages? Foliage cannot be counted.)

Think of the batter from which a cake is made. Before you put the batter into the oven, it can't be divided into parts because it's a thick liquid. Once it has been baked, it becomes solid enough to be cut into pieces. Noncount nouns are like cake batter; count nouns are like pieces of cake

Counting things in English which are not usually countable!

Although non-count nouns are supposed to be uncountable, we sometimes need to count them. At least, we sometimes need to explain the quantity of something which is non-count. We can do this by using a measurement word, or counter, like this:

useful measurement words for uncountable nouns

It's useful to learn some of the most common measurement words and how they are used. Here are some examples:

Countable forms of nouns which are usually uncountable

Sometimes a noun has countable and uncountable forms depending on the situation. For example.

  1. I have not had much exercise recently. (uncountable form)
  2. please do exercises 3 and 4 from your text book. (countable form)
  3. How much food did you eat yesterday? (uncountable form)
  4. Our company produce foods for many different markets. (countable - emphasising the different varieties and products)

A bar of chocolate

Chocolate bar

Two loaves of bread

Two Loaves of bread

Three slices of meat

Three Slices of meat
Measurement wordNouns used with it
bar chocolate, soap
cube sugar, ice
gametennis, soccer, cards
glasswine, beer, water, juice
pieceadvice, information, baggage, clothing, furniture, homework, machinery

plural verb agreement with uncountable nouns

Nouns such as civics, mathematics, measles, and news require singular verbs. This is because they are un-countable. units of measurement are not the main noun. (eg: dollars, years, and miles, are used to measure another noun which is un-countable.)

plural unit words of distance, money, and time. take a singular verb because they are uncountable
  1. 300 miles is a long ways to go on a bicycle. (distance)
  2. Three hundred dollars seems a lot to spend on a dress. (money)
  3. Fifteen years is a long time to spend in jail.

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