Introduction To English Nouns - part 4


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The fourth and last part of the Introduction to Nouns will cover the topic of countable and uncountable nouns.

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Introduction To English Nouns - part 4

  1. 1. Introduction to Nouns Countable vs. Uncountable Nouns
  2. 2. <ul><li>COUNTABLE NOUNS </li></ul><ul><li>can be counted and so they can take a plural form. They can also take the determiner ‘a’ in a singular form: </li></ul><ul><li>a lorry two lorries </li></ul><ul><li>a pen many pens </li></ul><ul><li>a girl fifty girls </li></ul><ul><li>a story three stories </li></ul>OPEN WORDS – Nouns – TYPES OF NOUNS <ul><li>UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS </li></ul><ul><li>refer to things that cannot be counted. They don’t have a plural form and they never take the determiner ‘a’. </li></ul><ul><li>water NOT ‘a water’ / ‘waters’ </li></ul><ul><li>advice NOT ‘an advice’ / ‘advices’ </li></ul><ul><li>information NOT ‘an information’ / ‘informations’ </li></ul><ul><li>baggage NOT ‘a baggage’ / ‘baggages’ </li></ul><ul><li>work NOT ‘a work’ / ‘works’ </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS </li></ul><ul><li>Things that cannot be counted individually. They would have to be measured out to be counted. For example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>bread but you can have ‘a loaf of bread / a slice of bread’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>beer but you can have ‘a pint of beer / a bottle of beer’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>coffee but you can have ‘a cup of coffee / a jar of coffee’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>glass but you can have ‘a pane of glass / a shard of glass’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>paper but you can have ‘a sheet of paper / a piece of paper’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>soap but you can have ‘a bar of soap’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>wood but you can have ‘a lump of wood’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ice but you can have ‘a lump of ice / a block of ice’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>water but you can have ‘a glass of water / a bottle of water’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sand but you can have ‘a pile of sand’ </li></ul></ul>OPEN WORDS - Nouns
  4. 4. <ul><li>UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS </li></ul><ul><li>ABSTRACT NOUNS are also uncountable. For example: </li></ul>OPEN WORDS - Nouns advice beauty courage relief work fear help news information I will give you a piece of advice. Our ideals of beauty differ from culture to culture. He showed great courage in battle. I felt relief when he left. I’m looking for work. She was paralysed by fear. I asked him for help. Is there any news of Jake’s whereabouts? I’ve found a piece of information you might find useful.
  5. 5. <ul><li>REMEMBER! </li></ul><ul><li>UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS never take ‘a / an’ and they always take a singular noun: </li></ul><ul><li>The news is good. (CORRECT) NOT: The news are good (INCORRECT) </li></ul><ul><li>My hair needs washing. (CORRECT) NOT: My hair need washing. (INCORRECT) </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>REMEMBER! </li></ul><ul><li>Some ABSTRACT NOUNS can sometimes be used with ‘a’ or ‘an’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a wonder (that) he didn’t get killed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a pity (that) I hadn’t met him earlier. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jane has been a great help to me. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I have a good working knowledge of all Ms Office programmes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It would be a crime to leave her like that. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>COUNTABLE NOUNS </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have many friends. </li></ul><ul><li>I have very few friends. </li></ul><ul><li>I have fewer friends than Jane. </li></ul><ul><li>I trust some of my friends but not all of them. </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve known most of my friends since childhood. </li></ul>OPEN WORDS – Nouns – TYPES OF NOUNS <ul><li>UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have much time. </li></ul><ul><li>I have very little time. </li></ul><ul><li>I have less time than yesterday. </li></ul><ul><li>You can have some of my time but not all of it. </li></ul><ul><li>I spend most of my time working </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>REMEMBER! </li></ul><ul><li>Some UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS can sometimes be made COUNTABLE, but with a change of meaning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>She has lots of experience in this field. (she knows a lot about it) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have I told you about my experiences in Thailand? (my adventures in Thailand) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I have to go to work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I have just bought the Complete Works of Shakespeare. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This table is made of glass. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I can’t find any champagne glasses. </li></ul></ul>
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