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Countable nouns & Uncountable nouns

Countable nouns

Countable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count. For example: “tree”. We can count trees. There can be one, two, three or more trees. Here are some more countable nouns:

dog, cat, animal, man

cup, bottle, kilo

coin, note, pound

spoon, fork, knife

table, chair, bag

Countable nouns can be singular or plural:

My cat is short-haired.
My cats are playful.

We can use the indefinite article a/an with countable nouns:

A cat is a solitary animal.

When a countable noun is singular, we must use a word like a/the/my/this with it:

I want a banana.
Do you know this woman?

When a countable noun is plural, we can use it alone:

I bought a small bunch of bananas.
Women are more sensitive than men.

We can use some and any with countable nouns:

I’ve got some five-pound notes in my wallet.
I haven’t got any coins.

We can use a few and many with countable nouns:

I’ve got a few friends.
Have you got many friends?

Uncountable nouns

Uncountable nouns are substances, concepts etc that we cannot divide into separate elements. We cannot “count” them. For example, we cannot count “water”. We can count “bottles of water” or “glasses of water”, but we cannot count “water” itself. Here are some more uncountable nouns:

music, art, love, happiness

advice, information, news

furniture, luggage

rice, salt, butter, milk

electricity, gas, power

money, currency

We usually treat uncountable nouns as singular. We use a singular verb.

This information is false.
The new furniture fits the room perfectly.

We do not usually use the indefinite article a/an with uncountable nouns. We cannot say “an advice” or “a music”. But we can say a something of:

a jar of marmalade; a bottle of beer; a piece of cake; a loaf of bread; a cup of coffee; a bar of chocolate; a glass of water; a kilo of meat; a carton of milk; a bowl of soup; a can of fruit juice; a jug of cream; a slice of bread; a tin of fish; a packet of crisps

We can use some and any with uncountable nouns:

I’ve got some milk in the fridge.
Have you got any cheese?

We can use a little and much with uncountable nouns:

I’ve got a little milk in the fridge.
I haven’t got much cheese.

There are a number of nouns that are usually uncountable:

information

advice

weather

news

bread

hair

furniture

work

I need some information about guided tours around the city.
It’s lovely weather today.
I’ve got some good news to tell you.
Pamela has got glossy black hair.
I’m going to buy some bread on my way home.
We are planning to buy some new furniture.
Travelling can be hard work.
Go to your doctor and ask for advice.

Nouns that can be Countable and Uncountable

Sometimes, the same noun can be countable and uncountable, often with a change of meaning.

Countable

 

Uncountable

There is a hair in my soup!

hair

She’s got glossy black hair.

There are two lights in our living-room.

light

There isn’t much light in the room.

I can hear a strange noise coming from the kitchen.

noise

I can’t concentrate when there is too much noise.

Have you got a paper to read? (= newspaper)

paper

I want to write a letter. Have you got some paper?

Our house has eight rooms.

room

Is there room for me to sit here?

We had a great time in Paris.

time

Have you got time for a cup of coffee?

It’s one of the greatest works of art.

work

I have no money. I need work!

Drinks (coffee, water, orange juice) are usually uncountable. But if we are thinking of a cup or a glass, we can say (in a restaurant, for example):

Two teas and one coffee please.

Упражнения

Beginner 

Упражнения на исчисляемые и неисчисляемые существительные

Elementary 

Упражнения на существительные

Pre-intermedaite 

Упражнение на существительные

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