What are COUNT NOUNS?Look around the room or the classroom youresitting in — the more "stuff" in the room, the better.Name some things that somebody must have carriedinto the room.desks, chairs, flag, clock, computers, keyboards, projector, books, bookcases,pens, notebooks, backpacks, lights, students (Well, maybe the studentswalked in under their own power!)Now name some things that are part of the room itself.floor, wall, ceiling, windows, door, chalkboardYou can imagine there being more than one of everything youve named sofar — although you might have to have more than one room to have morethan one floor or ceiling. These are all COUNT NOUNS, things that you cancount.
Usage Notes:Count nouns can be pluralized when appropriate. See the section onPlurals for help with the proper formation of noun plurals.We can use expressions such asmany bottlesfew bottlesa few bottlesThese nouns, both singular and plural, can be preceded by theappropriate definite and indefinite articles — the with both singular andplural, a or an with singular count-nouns.Singular count nouns can be preceded by this and that and by every,each, either, and neither.Plural count nouns can be preceded by these and those and by some,any, enough, and the zero article. The phrase number of is accompaniedby count nouns.Count nouns cannot be preceded by much. The phrase amount of is alsoa sure sign that you are not dealing with a count noun.
Can be counted as one or more.pen, computer, bottle, spoon, desk, cup, television, chair, shoe,finger, flower, camera, stick, balloon, book, table, comb, etc.Take an s to form the plural.pens, computers, bottles, spoons, desks, cups, televisions, chairs, shoes,fingers, flowers, cameras, sticks, balloons, books, tables, combs, etc.Work with expressions such as (a few, few, many, some, every, each, these,and the number of).a few pens, a few computers, many bottles, some spoons, every desk,each cup, these televisions, the number of chairs, a few shoes, a fewfingers, many flowers, some cameras, every stick, each balloon, thesebooks, the number of tables, many combs, etc.
Work with appropriate articles (a, an, or the).a pen, the computer, a bottle, the spoon, a desk, the cup, atelevision, the chair, a shoe, the finger, a flower, the camera, astick, the balloon, a book, the table, a comb, etc.Do NOT work with much (for example, you would never say much pensor much computers).
Count Nounsa car (singular) cars (plural)a chair chairs
count nouns use singular and plural verbs and pronouns:There is an apple. (singular)There are some apples. (plural)I like that chair. ("that" is singular).She likes those chairs. ("those" is plural)A car is an expensive thing to own. Cars are an expensive form oftransportation.Apples taste goodDigital cameras make photography easy. They are fun to use.The camera is very nice.
Count NounsHow many chairs are there? How many chairs are there?There is one chair There are two chairsHow many cameras are there? How many cameras are there?Theres one camera There are four cameras
Non-count nounsNon-count nouns (or uncounted nouns) are usually thingswhich cannot be counted, such as rice or water. Non-countnouns have a singular form, but when they are indefinite,we either use the word “some” or nothing at all instead ofan article.Non-count nouns have only one form. When used as subjects in presenttense sentences, non-count nouns require the -s form of the verb.Cannot be counted. They usually express a group or a type.water, wood, ice, air, oxygen, English, Spanish, traffic, furniture,milk, wine, sugar, rice, meat, flour, soccer, sunshine, etc.Generally cannot be pluralized.
Work both with and without an article (a, an, or the), depending on thecontext of the sentence.Sugar is sweet.The sunshine is beautiful.I drink milk.He eats rice.We watch soccer together.The wood is burning
•We ate some rice and milk.•I hope to see some sunshine today.•This meat is good.•She does not speak much Spanish.•Do you see any traffic on the road?•That wine is very old.Work with expressions such as (some, any, enough, this, that, and much).Do NOT work with expressions such as (these, those, every, each, either, orneither).
Know the different categories of non-count nouns.The chart below illustrates the different types of non-count nouns.Remember that these categories include other nouns that are count.For example, lightning, a natural event [one of the categories], is non-count, but hurricane, a different natural event, is a count noun. Whenyou dont know what type of noun you have, consult a dictionary thatprovides such information.
The following are non-count nouns:Abstract nouns:adviceartbeautyconfidencecouragecrimeeducationenjoymentexperiencefungrammarhappinesseducationhatehealthhelphomeworkhonestyhospitalityimportanceinformationintelligencejusticeknowledgelaughterlifeloveluckmusicnewsnoisenutritionpatiencepatienceprideprogressslangtimetruthunemploymentvocabularywork
Groups with individual partscashchangeclothingequipmentfoodfruitfurnituregarbagehardwarehomeworkjewelryjunkjunkluggagemachinerymailmakeupmoneynewspostageresearchsceneryslangtraffic
Things with no definite form:LiquidsbeerbloodcoffeecreamgasolineHoneyjuicemilkoilshampoosoupteawaterwineGasesaircarbon monoxidefirefoghydrogenoxygenpollutionsmokesteamSolidsbuttercheesecottonfilmflourglassiceice creammeatpowdersaltsoapsugartoothpastewoodwool
Things that have tiny parts too small to countcorndirtdustgrasshairricesaltsugarwheatNatural phenomenadarknessdewelectricityfirefoggravityheathumiditylightlightningrainsnowsunshinethunderweatherwind
Ailmentscancercholerafluheart diseasemalariapoliosmallpoxstrep throatAcademic subjectsartbiologychemistryeconomicsengineeringhistorylinguisticsliteraturemathematicsmusicphysicspoetrypsychologyscienceLanguagesRussian, Spanish, French, etc.
????????Words that can be count and non-countFood (non-count)chickenlambliverfishAnimal or animal part (count)a chickena lamba livera fishnon-countwinefoodfruitmeateducationexperiencecount (means "a kind of ___")a wine, winesa food, foodsa fruit, fruitsa meat, meatsan educationan experience
non-countglass (the material)paper (the material)iron (the metal)fire (the gas)time (an abstract idea)counta glass (something to put liquid in)a paper (a report or newspaper)an iron (for pressing clothes)a fire (one specific occurrence of fire)a time, times (a specific occurrence orperiod)
How can something be BOTH a COUNT NOUN and a MASS NOUN?If we conceive of the meaning of a noun as a continuum frombeing specific to being general and abstract, we can see how itcan move from being a count noun to a mass noun. Consider, forexample, the noun experiences. When I sayI had many horrifying experiences as a pilot.Im referring to specific, countable moments in my life as a pilot.When I say,This position requires experience.Im using the word in an abstract way; it is not something you cancount; its more like an idea, a general thing that people need to havein order to apply for this job.
If I writeThe talks will take place in Degnan Hall.these talks are countable events or lectures. If I sayI hate it when a meeting is nothing but talk.the word talk is now uncountable; Im referring to the general, abstractidea of idle chatter.Evils refers to specific sins — pride, envy, sloth, and everyones favorite,gluttony — whereas evil refers to a general notion of being bad or ungodly.
One more example: "I love the works of Beethoven" means that I likehis symphonies, his string quartets, his concerti and sonatas, his choralpieces — all very countable things, works. "I hate work" means that Ifind the very idea of labor, in a general way, quite unappealing. Noticethat the plural form means something quite different from thesingular form of this word; theyre obviously related, but theyredifferent.What is the relationship between plastic and plastics, wood andwoods, ice and [Italian] ices, hair and hairs?Further, as noted earlier, almost all mass nouns can become count nounswhen they are used in a classificatory sense:They served some nice Brazilian wines.There were some real beauties in that rose garden.We had some serious difficulties in this project.But some things cannot be made countable or plural: we cannot havefurnitures, informations, knowledges, softnesses, or chaoses. When indoubt, consult a good dictionary.
What are ABSTRACT NOUNS?Here is a list of ABSTRACT NOUNS for you to think about. Canyou touch or see any of these things in the physical sense?Can you count any of them? Can you create sentences inwhich some of these words can be used as plurals?peacewarmthhospitalityinformationangereducationmelancholysoftnessviolenceconductcourageleisureknowledgesafetyshoppingjusticechaosprogressspeedexperiencetimefriendshiptroubleworkculturevirtuetasteevillibertydemocracydeathgriefpiety
Usage Notes:Because they refer to ideas, concepts, it is difficult to see how abstractnouns can be pluralized. In fact, many of them cannot be. The abstractnouns in the first two columns (above) cannot be pluralized; the abstractnouns in the second two columns can be. The section below discusseswhat happens to an abstract noun when it is pluralized.The griefs of the nation are too much to bear.The editors took liberties with our prose.She formed many friendships at college.In terms of quantifiers and words that precede these words, what we sayabout the non-count nouns, above, can be said about abstract nouns.
ExercisesThere are two exercises here, after you havefinished each exercise, click “Check Answers” to seehow you did.When you are ready, press “Continue”.
Count and Non-count Nouns Grammar Quiz•Ive had so coffee today, I cant stop shaking.•When we moved we packed up all of our except for thekitchen table.•I dont care for it when women wear a lot of .•They have two in their home.•Did you hear the terrible storm with last night?muchfurnituremakeupdogsthunder and lightningmanyfurnituresmakeupsdogthunder and lightning
1 bananaCountNon-Count2 fruitCountNon-Count3 appleCountNon-Count4 peachCountNon-CountEasy Count or Non-Count NounsPut an “x” in the correct box.5 waterCountNon-Count6 strawberryCountNon-Count7 cornCountNon-Count8 orange juiceCountNon-Count
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