Countable and Uncountable nouns vary from language to language. In some languages, there are no countable nouns (e.g., Japanese). In addition, some nouns that are uncountable in English may be countable in other languages (e.g., hair or information).
You can jump to any section of this lesson:
What are countable nouns? | Countable and Uncountable Nouns
- Countable nouns are individual objects, people, places, etc. which can be counted. (We use a/an or a number in front of countable nouns).
1 pictures, 2 pictures, 3 pictures
2 men, 4 men, 8 men
- A countable noun can be both singular or plural. (Normally, we add -s/-es to make a countable noun plural.)
apple – apples
tree – trees
box – boxes
- Use the singular form of the verb with a singular countable noun.
There is a book on the table.
That student is excellent!
- Use the plural form of the verb with a countable noun in the plural.
There are some students in the classroom.
Those houses are very big, aren’t they?
- We can use some and any with countable nouns.
Some dogs can be dangerous.
I don’t use any computers at work.
- We only use many and few with plural countable nouns.
So many elephants have been hunted that they are an endangered species.
There are few elephants in England.
- We can use a lot of and no with plural countable nouns.
No computers were bought last week.
A lot of computers were reported broken the week before.
What are uncountable nouns? | Countable and Uncountable Nouns
- Uncountable nouns are materials, concepts, information, etc. which are not individual objects and can not be counted.
- Uncountable nouns are always singular. Use the singular form of the verb with uncountable nouns.
There is some water in that pitcher.
That is the equipment we use for the project.
- Normally we do not use a/an with uncountable nouns; instead we use expressions such as a glass of water (a water), a piece of music (a music).
- Uncountable nouns can appear without any determiner.
Can you hear music?
- We can use some/any/much/little with uncountable nouns.
He often drinks some wine with his meal.
He doesn’t usually drink any water with his wine.
- We only use much and little with uncountable nouns.
He doesn’t usually drink much coffee.
Little wine is undrinkable though.
- We can use a lot of and no with uncountable nouns.
A lot of wine is drunk in England.
No wine is drunk in Irag.
Nouns that Can Be Countable or Uncountable
Some nouns can be used as both countable or uncountable, usually with a difference in meaning.