They have singular
and plural form.
You can use numbers
You can use the
article a / an with
their singular form.
They only have one
They are followed by a
You can’t use either
numbers or the article
a /an with them.
COUNTABLE NOUNS UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
Advice, information, accommodation, homework,
knowledge, money, water, time, health, paper, iron,
weather, traffic, equipment, work…..
A few uncountable nouns end in –s, but they follow
the normal rules for uncountable nouns and have a
News, billiards, politics, ….
WE CAN COUNT UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
INDIRECTLY BY USING A PHRASE LIKE A
PIECE OF …, A BIT OF ….
A bar of chocolate
IRON (metal) / AN IRON (domestic appliance)
BUSINESS (in general) / A BUSINESS (a
GOSSIP (talking) / A GOSSIP (a person)
HAIR (all together) / A HAIR (a single strand)
HELP (in general) / A HELP (a helpful person or
WORK (in general) / A WORK (a work of art/
CHOCOLATE (substance) / A CHOCOLATE (a
box of chocolates)
QUANTIFIERS USED TOGETHER WITH …QUANTIFIERS USED TOGETHER WITH …
(a) few/ fewer
many, a great many, very many, not many
a small/ good/ large/ great number of
(a/ very) little
A good/ a great deal of
A small/ a large amount of
Both (apart from some, any, no):
A lot of/ lots of/ plenty of
No … at all
None of the
A lack of
What’s the difference?
“I’d like somesome jewellery” / “I’d like some of thesome of the jewellery”
General, we don’t know which/ Specific, a particular set
“There is a littlea little milk left in the fridge”/ “There is littlelittle juice for
both of us”
A small amount or number of / not enough
(*) When few/ little are used with nouns that have negative
meaning (problems, difficulty, ...) the overall meaning becomes
“There were few problems with the implementation of the new
Choose the correct alternative
Many/Much famous sportspeople get injured for unexpected reasons. For
example, the English footballer Ferdinand managed to injure himself by
watching TV for a great number of/ a great deal of hours with his leg
on a coffee table.
And after the cricketer Chris Lewis shaved his head he spent too many/
much time in the sun and got sunstroke.
But the worst accident occurred in 1913 when the racing driver Camille Jenatzy
took several/ a small amount of friends hunting for boars. They didn’t see no/
any boars, so the group went back to the house and had lots/ too many to
eat and drink. Jenatzy was convinced they would soon have many/ much better
luck and offered much/ alt of money as a bet that they would be shooting in the next
little/ few hours.
After everyone had gone to bed, he crept outside, walked few/ a few metres away
from the house and made a few/ a little sounds like a wild boar to wake up his
Unfortunately, his friends opened the window and shot him by mistake.
Other determiners expressing number/
Neither, Either, Both (referring to “two”):
Neither of them came to the party
Which one do you prefer? Either of them
Both of them accepted my invitation
(*) Both is not commonly used with a negative verb. Neither
plus a positive verb is preferred instead:
Both of them didn’t attend the lesson ....better say ...
Neither of them attended the lesson.
“neither and either” are better followed by singular verb,
whereas “both” is always followed by plural verb.
Neither of the pilots/ Neither pilot has flown to Africa before.
Either of the books/ Either book is interesting to read.
Both (of the) awards were given to the same actor.
Each and Every (more than one):
“The contract was signed by each director” (individually, one by one)
“When every director had signed the contract, it was sent off” (all of
them, the whole group)
When referring to two, Each is used:
“She was wearing a fine gold chain on each ankle”
but “She was wearing a ring on each/every finger”
These two determiners are followed by singular
countable nouns and singular verb.
Every one of the / Each of the, however, might be followed by
plural nouns and verbs as well.
“Every one of the applicants were shortlisted”
MOST (OF THE), ALL (OF THE), HALF (OF THE) :
Most/ All/ Half (of the) people who attended the party
were dancing till late at night.
“Most of the problem started when Mary left him”
But “All/ Half (of) the problem ...”
“Most (of the) fruit sold in Spain is grown in Morocco”
but “All/ Half (of) the fruit....”
Most/All/Half can be followed by singular and plural nouns
as well as by uncountable nouns.
Subject-verb concord will depend on the noun that follows (singular
nouns/ Uncountable nouns + sing verb; plural nouns + pl verb).
“Whole”/”Entire” is sometimes preferred, instead of “All”, when
followed by singular countable nouns:
“She spent the whole journey complaining about the weather”
Choose the correct option a, b or c
1. I haven’t seen … of those films, so I don’t mind which one we
A. NONE B. NEITHER C. EITHER
2. You shouldn’t walk like that. It puts … of pressure on one hip
A. ALL B. A LOT C. MUCH
3. The Fitness Room would like to invite … its patrons to
enter the annual fitness challange:
A. ALL B. EVERY OF C. MOST
4. If something absorbs … colours of the spectrum, it appears
A. ALL B. EACH C. EVERY
5. Mr. Jones and Mrs. Smith, ….passengers on Star Airlines
flight XPK009 from UK, please go to the airport information
desk, thank you.
A. BOTH B. EITHER C. EACH
6. … flowers bought at airports are safe, about 90%, but I’d
better spray them just in case:
A. MOST OF B. MOST THE C. MOST