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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

COUNTABLE & UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS


IS A NOUN COUNTABLE OR UNCOUNTABLE?


In English nouns are countable or uncountable


COUNTABLE NOUNS


Countable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count. For example: pen. We can count pens. We can have one, two, three or more pens. Here are some more countable nouns: 

  • dog, cat, animal, man, person
  • bottle, box, litre
  • coin, note, dollar
  • cup, plate, fork
  • table, chair, suitcase, bag

Countable nouns can be singular or plural:
  • My dog is playing.
  • My dogs are hungry.


We can use the indefinite article a / an with countable nouns: 
  • A dog is an animal. 


When a countable noun is singular, we must use a word like a / the / my / this with it:
  •  I want an orange. (not I want orange)
  • Where is my bottle) (not Where is bottle?)

When a countable noun is plural, we can use it alone:
  • I like oranges.
  • Bottles can break.

We can use some and any with countable nouns:
  • I've got some dollars.
  • Have you got any pens?

We can use a few and many with countable nouns:
  • I've got a few dollars.
  • I haven't got many pens.

UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

Uncountable nouns are substances, concepts, etc. that cannot divide into separate elements. We cannot count them. For example, we cannot count milk. We can count bottles of milk or litres of milk, but we cannot count milk itself. Here are some more uncountable nouns:
  • music, art, love, happiness
  • advice, information, news
  • furniture, luggage
  • rice, sugar, butter, water
  • electricity, gas, power
  • money, currency

We usually treat uncountable nouns as singular. We use a singular verbs. For example:
  • This news is very important.
  • Your luggage looks heavy.


We do not usually use the indefinite article a / an with uncountable noun. We cannot say an information or a music. But we can say a something of
  • a piece of news
  • a bottle of water
  • a grain of rice

We can use some and any with uncountable nouns: 
  • I've got some money.
  • Have you got any rice?

We can use a little and much with uncountable nouns:
  • I've got a little money.
  • I haven't got much rice.

Here are some more examples of countable and uncountable nouns: 

CountableUncountable
dollarmoney
songmusic
suitcaseluggage
tablefurniture
batteryelectricity
bottlewine
reportinformation
tipadvice
journeytravel
jobwork
viewscenery

NOUNS THAT CAN BE COUNTABLE OR UNCOUNTABLE

Sometimes, the same noun can be countable or uncountable, often with a change of meaning. Here are some examples of nouns that can be both countable or uncountable:

CountableUncountable
There are two hairs in my coffee!hairI don't have much hair.
There are two lights in our bedroom.lightClose the curtain. There's too much light!
Shhhhh! I thought I heard a noise.
There are so many different noises in the city.
noiseIt's difficult to work when there is too much noise.
Have you got a paper to read? (newspaper)
Hand me those student papers.
paperI want to draw a picture. Have you got some paper?
Our house has seven rooms.roomIs there room for me to sit here?
We had a great time at the party.
How many times have I told you no?
timeHave you got time for a coffee?
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's greatest works.workI have no money. I need work!

Watch this presentation about countable and uncountable nouns that will clarify this concept.

Countable and uncountable nouns from Inma Dominguez


LET'S PRACTISE!!


CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO PRACTISE ON COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS:


EXERCISE 1


EXERCISE 2


EXERCISE 3


EXERCISE 4


EXERCISE 5


EXERCISE 6


EXERCISE 7


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