Welcome to your free Introduction to Countable and Uncountable Nouns lesson! In this topic we talk about:
Here is an example of a countable noun:
I love mangoes.
I eat a mango at every meal.
Mango is a countable noun. It can be singular (mango) or plural (mangoes).
Countable nouns can be used with numbers: “Three mangoes.” “Twenty mangoes.” Here are a few more examples of countable nouns:
Bob has two cars, he’s very rich.
I saw a great film last night.
How many children do you have?
This island has lots of beautiful waterfalls.
Do you keep chickens?
Here is an example of an uncountable noun:
I love rice.
I eat rice at every meal.
Rice is an uncountable noun. It only has one form (rice).
Uncountable nouns cannot be used with numbers, we cannot say “Three rices.” “Twenty rices.” Here are a few more examples of uncountable nouns:
There is too much traffic on the roads nowadays.
I listen to music while I work.
Do you want some water?
This island has wonderful fresh air.
We had an electricity shortage last night.
Using A & AN with countable nouns
A and AN can be used with singular countable nouns:
an apple / a problem / a university
Singular countable nouns cannot be used alone (A / AN / YOUR etc.)
Can I have a mango?
(not “Can I have
I read an article in the paper.
articlein the paper.”)
You can, however, use a plural countable noun alone:
I love mangoes.
Smartphones are quite expensive.
Using A & AN with uncountable nouns
A and AN cannot usually be used with uncountable nouns. We cannot say“
a milk” “ a water” “ a sand“. You can, however, use A…OF. For example:
a pint of milk / a glass of water / a bucket of sand
Uncountable nouns can be used alone (without A / AN / YOUR etc.):
Would you like more rice?
I have sand in my bag.
Using SOME / ANY / MANY / FEW with countable nouns
SOME and ANY can be used with plural countable nouns:
Would you like some sausages?
Have you got any gloves?
We can also use MANY and FEW with plural countable nouns:
They didn’t have many children.
I have a few books to sell.
Using SOME / ANY / MUCH / LITTLE with uncountable nouns
SOME and ANY can be used with uncountable nouns:
Would you like some rice?
Do you have any money?
We can also use MUCH and LITTLE with uncountable nouns:
They didn’t have much time.
I have a little wine left.