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Countable and Uncountable Nouns

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  1. 1. What is a noun? A noun is a part of speech that is used to name a person, place, thing, quality, or action.
  2. 2. Countable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count. For example: "pen". We can count pens. We can have one, two, three or more pens. Here are some more countable nouns: dog, cat, animal, man, person, bottle, box, litre, coin, note, pound, cup, plate, fork, table, chair, suitcase, bag, etc.
  3. 3. Countable Nouns Most nouns make their plurals by simply adding –s to the end (e.g. cat/cats, book/books, journey/journeys). Some do change their endings, though. The main types of noun that do this are:
  4. 4. Countable Nouns 1. Nouns ending in -y If the noun ends with a consonant plus -y, make the plural by changing -y to -ies: Singular Plural berry berries activity activities country countries
  5. 5. Countable Nouns 2. Nouns ending in -ch, -s, -sh, -x, or -z       If the noun ends with -ch, -s, -sh, -x, or -z, add -es to  form the plural: Singular Plural church churches bus buses fox foxes
  6. 6. Countable Nouns 3. Nouns ending in -f or -fe       With nouns that end in a consonant or a single vowel  plus -f or -fe, change the -f or -fe to -ves: Singular Plural knife knives wife wives leaf leaves
  7. 7. Countable Nouns 4. Nouns ending in -o         Nouns ending in -o can add either -s or -es in the  plural, and some can be spelled either way. Singular Plural knife knives wife wives leaf leaves
  8. 8. Countable Nouns 4. Nouns ending in -o Nouns ending in -o can add either -s or -es in the plural, and some can be spelled either way. As a general rule, most nouns ending in -o add -s to make the plural: Singular Plural radio radios studio studios photo photos
  9. 9. Countable Nouns 4. Nouns ending in -o Here’s a list of the most common nouns ending in -o that are always spelled with -es in the plural: Singular Plural tomato tomatoes potato potatoes mosquito mosquitoes
  10. 10. Countable Nouns A number of nouns have irregular plural forms: Singular Plural child children ox oxen foot feet goose geese tooth teeth mouse mice louse lice mouse mice woman women man men
  11. 11. Uncountable Nouns Uncountable nouns are substances, concepts etc that we cannot divide into separate elements. We cannot "count" them. For example, we cannot count "milk". We can count "bottles of milk" or "litres of milk", but we cannot count "milk" itself. Here are some more uncountable nouns: music, art, love, happiness, advice, information, news, furniture, luggage, rice, sugar, butter, water, electricity, gas, power, money, currency, etc.
  12. 12. Sometimes, the same noun can be countable and uncountable, often with a change of meaning. Countable Uncountable There are two hairs in my coffee! hair I don't have much hair. There are two lights in our bedroom. light Close the curtain. There's too much light! Shhhhh! I thought I heard a noise. There are so many different noises in the city. noise It's difficult to work when there is so much noise. Have you got a paper to read? (newspaper) Hand me those student papers. paper I want to draw a picture. Have you got some paper? Our house has seven rooms. room Is there room for me to sit here? We had a great time at the party. How many times have I told you no? time Have you got time for a cup of coffee? Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's greatest works. work I have no money. I need work!
  13. 13. 1. countable.htm 2. 3. John Hughes and Ceri Jones, 2011,’Practical Grammar’, Heinle Cengage Learning BIBLIOGRAPHY