Look at the sentences below. What’s wrong? Move your
mouse over each sentence to see the answer.
Introduction Problems with Nouns 1. I have three bedroom in my house. 2. There are many milks in the refrigerator. 3. Those chair are in the wrong room. 4. There are five reds cars. 5. Some of the class are at night. 6. Your childs are beautiful. 7. Would you like a few milk? “ Bedrooms” should be plural because the sentence says there are three. The word “milks” is incorrect, because it is a non-count noun and cannot have an –s.
In English, we have countable and non-countable nouns.
Some examples of countable and non-countable nouns are
Guideline #1 Count and Non-Count Nouns Countable Nouns Non-Countable Nouns chair student day song computer room love money weather food fruit furniture More Non-Countable Nouns
Countable nouns can have singular and plural forms and
can be counted numerically. Most countable nouns can be
made plural by adding –s or –es .
Guideline #2 Countable Nouns book book s 3 book s box box es 2 box es
Non-countable nouns have only one form and can’t be
counted numerically. Look at the examples below.
Guideline #3 Non-Countable Nouns monies money one money money healths health two health health
Non-countable nouns cannot take the plural –s or –es or
an article (a, an).
Guideline #4 Non-Countable Nouns a furniture furniture furnitures furniture a news news newses news
Some nouns have an irregular plural form. Look at the examples below.
Guideline #5 Irregular Plural Nouns child childs children woman womans women Click here to see a list of irregular plural nouns.
Words like, a few, a little, much, any, some, and many
are used differently depending on whether the noun in the
sentence is count or non-count.
Guideline #6 Noun Quantifiers a few count nouns a few bananas a little non-count nouns a little flour
(Continued) Noun Quantifiers many count nouns many chairs much non-count nouns much furniture some non-count nouns some furniture count nouns some chairs
Any is used in negative sentences with count and non-count nouns. Notice the difference in plural and singular verbs.
(Continued) Noun Quantifiers any count nouns There aren’t any chairs. any non-count nouns There isn’t any furniture.
Remember to make demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those) agree with the nouns they modify.
Guideline #7 Agreement with Demonstrative Adjectives singular these room plural these rooms this rooms this room This/That These/Those
A countable noun is always plural after an “of phrase” that shows quantity. A non-count noun is always singular after an “of phrase.”
Guideline #8 Nouns and “of phrases” “ of phrases” Some of the chairs are broken. Some of the furniture is broken. plural singular Click here to see a list of common “of phrases.”
Adjectives are never plural.
Guideline #9 Adjectives Those are beautifuls houses. beautiful That is an olds book. old adjective adjective
Click on the links below to look at additional grammar notes
and do some practice exercises with count and non-count
More Grammar Notes and Exercises
Now you are ready to practice what you’ve learned. Click the link below to return to Unit D. Print and complete the Practice Exercise on count and non-count nouns. Check your answers with a tutor.
Editing Checklist After you have checked your essay for singular/plural noun problems, read your essay draft aloud to your tutor. As you read it,listen to make sure there are no errors in singular/plural nouns. Look at your essay. Circle all of the nouns in your essay. Using the guidelines you have learned in this lesson, decide why each noun should be singular or plural. Discuss your decisions with a tutor.
woman women deer deer
man men calf calves
child children wife wives
ox oxen life lives
foot feet half halves
tooth teeth knife knives
goose geese self selves
mouse mice wolf wolves
louse lice thief thieves
sheep sheep leaf leaves
fish fish shelf shelves
Appendix Irregular Plural Nouns
accommodation coal garbage leisure vocabulary
advice conduct gossip lightning wealth
anger countryside grass luck weather
applause courage hair luggage work
assistance damage happiness machinery violence
baggage dancing harm meat underwear
behavior furniture help money travel
bread dirt homework mud traffic
cardboard education hospitality music
cash evidence housework news
chaos flu information patience
chess food jewelry poetry
china fruit knowledge scenery
clothing fun laughter soap
spelling strength stuff thunder
Appendix Non-Countable Nouns
Some of the… A little of the…
Many of the… Much of the…
A number of the… A lot of the…
One of the…
Most of the…
Half of the…
A few of the…
Appendix “ of phrases”
Presentation by Ruth Luman: Modesto Junior College.
This project incorporates portions of copyrighted works. These items are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and have been prepared according to the educational fair use guidelines. They are restricted from further use.