COUNTABLE & UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

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It is important to know the difference between a COUNTABLE and an UNCOUNTABLE noun in English.  Quantifiers such as many, few, can only be used with countable nouns while much / little can only be used with uncountable nouns.

UNCOUNTABLE COUNTABLE
accommodation a place to stay
advice a piece of advice
baggage a suitcase / a backpack / a trunk
bread a loaf of bread / a loaf / a roll / a bun
chess a game of chess
chewing gum a piece of chewing gum
equipment a tool
furniture a table / a chair
information a bit / piece of information
knowledge a fact
luck a stroke of luck
luggage an item of luggage / a case / a bag
money coins / notes
news a piece of news
poetry poems
publicity an advertisement

It is normally easy to tell the difference between an uncountable noun such as sand or rice and a countable noun such as dog or chair.  Sometimes the difference is not so clear as the concept of what is countable and uncountable is different from language to language.

 NOUNS CAN BE COUNTABLE & UNCOUNTABLE

Some nouns are both countable and uncountable depending on whether they refer to the concept or substance of a thing.

Most uncountable nouns don’t have an ‘s’ at the end!

An easy way to check if is a noun is countable or uncountable is to check if it is in the plural.  Most uncountable nouns group together the concept of the thing and therefore do not take an ‘s’.  However, there are of course some exceptions to this grammar rule.  For example: nuts and noodles.

UNCOUNTABLE FOOD COUNTABLE FOOD
meat a chicken leg / a chicken breast
fish a tuna steak / a piece of swordfish / a can of tuna
rice a bowl of rice / a packet of rice
nuts a packet of nuts
sugar a teaspoon of sugar / a bag of sugar
tea a cup of tea / a tea bag
coffee a teaspoon of coffee / a cup of coffee
water a glass of water / a bottle of water
pasta a plate of pasta / a bowl of spaghetti
noodles a bowl of noodles / a packet of noodles
milk a carton of milk / a glass of milk
butter a packet of butter
salt a pinch of salt
pepper a pinch of pepper
flour 200 grams of flour / a cup of flour
juice a carton of juice / a glass of juice
wine a glass of wine / a bottle of wine
salad a bowl of salad
jam a jar of jam / a teaspoon of jam
cheese a piece of cheese / a slice of cheese
ketchup a dash of ketchup
oil a tablespoon of oil
mustard a dash of mustard
food a plate of food

PRACTICE VIDEO: UNCOUNTABLE & COUNTABLE NOUNS 🙂

INFORMATION

RESEARCH

TIME / HOURS

PAPER

HAIR

GRAMMAR

PROGRESS

TROUBLE

WORK

EVIDENCE

BEAUTY

ANGER