Welcome to your Countable Nouns with “A / An / Some” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• Countable nouns
More ways to use “a/an”
Using “Some”
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

Countable nouns

Countable nouns can be either singular or plural:

a childa catthe eveningthis partyan umbrella
some childrencatsthe eveningsthese partiesthree umbrellas

Before singular countable nouns you can use “a/an”:

“It was a great party last night.”

“It’s raining! Take an umbrella.”

Singular countable nouns cannot be used without words like “a/the/my” etc:

“She wears a green hat.”
(not “She wears green hat.”)

“We have a cat.”
(not “We have cat.”)

“I have a headache.”
(not “I have headache.”)

More ways to use “a/an”

“A” and “an” can also be used to say what kind of thing or person someone/something is:

“That’s a nice t-shirt.”

If the noun is plural, we can use it alone:

“Those are nice t-shirts.”

Compare singular and plural nouns:

SingularPlural

What a lovely shirt!

What lovely shirts!

He is a very kind person.”

They are very kind people.”

My friend is a doctor.”

My friends are doctors.

Remember to us “a/an” when you talk about someone’s job:

“My best friend is an engineer.”

“She is a teacher.”

Using “Some”

“Some” can be used with plural countable nouns.

Some can mean “a number of”, “a few of”, “a pair of”:

“I’ve seen some great films this week.”
(a number of)

“I’m meeting some friends at the pub later.”
(a few of)

“I need to buy some new trousers.”
(a pair of)

Do not use “some” when you talk about things in general:

I love pineapples.”
(not “some pineapples.“)

In my spare time I write poems.”
(not “some poems.”)

Sometimes you don’t need “some” in your sentences:

There are some beers in the fridge, help yourself.”
or
There are beers in the fridge, help yourself.”

Some can also mean “some, but not all”:

Some dogs are dangerous.”
(some, but not all)

There will be wind in some places tomorrow.”
(some, but not all)

Join 27,000 other English learners.