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Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Sep 7, 2022
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Countable Nouns

Countable nouns are those words which can be counted using numbers. 

It can be people, places, and things.  

For example:

  • Books
  • Buildings
  • Pens 

These nouns have singular and plural forms. 

We can add ‘a’ or ‘an’ before countable nouns in singular form. 

parallel

For Example:

  • A Book 
a book
  • An Apple  
an apple
  

Nouns that are singular can be changed to plural by adding ‘s’ at the end of the noun, in most cases. 

For Example:

  • Car – Cars  
Car - Cars

For some nouns, the plurals take an entirely different form. 

For Example:

parallel
  • Child – Children 

For plural form, we can ask ‘how many’ and the answer will be a number. 

For Example:

  • 3 books
  • 5 pens 

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable nouns stand for words which cannot be counted with numbers. 

They are usually concepts, ideas or physical objects. 

For Example:

  • Happiness
  • Milk
  • Advice
  • Hair 

We won’t say ‘a happiness’ or 2 happiness. The quantity of uncountable nouns can be known by asking the question ‘how much.’  

They don’t have plural form. 

‘A’ or ‘an’ is not added before uncountable nouns. We cannot use numbers directly before nouns. 

  • We cannot say 2 milk but we can say 2 bottles of milk. 

Using countable and uncountable nouns 

The listed articles and adjectives can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns, whereas some can be used only with countable and certain others only with uncountable nouns. 

countable and uncountable nouns

Using a, an, some and any 

Nouns that begin with a vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u) with singular countable nouns, an is used. 

Nouns that begin with a consonant sound (not vowel sounds) with singular countable nouns, a is used. 

  • Some is used with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns. It is used in positive statements. 
  • Any is used with plural uncountable nouns and countable nouns. It is used in negative sentences and questions. 

Using verbs with countable and uncountable nouns 

Countable nouns can be singular or plural. So, they may take singular or plural verbs. 

For Example:

  • The girl is dancing
girl is dancing
  • The girls are dancing.
girls are dancing

Uncountable nouns have only singular form, so singular verbs are used with them. 

For Example:

  • His luggage is heavy. 
  • The furniture in this room is new. 

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