Countable and Uncountable Nouns for intermediate learners

It's important to know if a noun is countable or uncountable. This is going to help us to use the correct article. Let's learn more.

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"Countable and Uncountable Nouns" in English Grammar

What Are Countable and Uncountable Nouns?

In English, we categorize nouns into two groups based on whether they are counted or not. Take a look at the list below:

  • Countable Nouns
  • Uncountable Nouns

Countable Nouns

In English, most nouns are countable which means they can be counted. By adding an '-s', we can easily turn them into plural nouns that refer to more than one object. Take a look at the examples below:

I found one apple in the fridge.

Jonathan can watch five movies in a day.

Uncountable Nouns

Some nouns cannot be counted and they do not change their forms like countable nouns. Let us examine some of them.

  • Languages: The names of different languages are uncountable.

Don't you like to learn French?

She speaks Farsi.

  • Sports: The names of sports are also uncountable.

Harry played football last night.

The children can choose to play volleyball or baseball here.

( Not Volleyballs or baseballs..)

  • Subjects and Fields: Most subjects and fields such as music, literature, poetry, physics, mathematics, etc. cannot be counted.

She hates to do her mathematics homework.

Does she listen to metal music?

  • Some materials like tea, rice, water, sugar, salt, etc. cannot be counted.

Can you give me some water, please?

You are not allowed to have any sugar in your lunch.

Tip!

It is useful to know that feelings are also uncountable nouns. Let us see some examples below:

Can you define happiness for me?

(Not Can you define hapinesses...)

She cannot hide her sadness.

(Not she cannot hide her sadnesses...)

Warning!

Always remember that we can use a definite or an indefinite article before a countable noun, but when we use an uncountable noun we cannot add an article to it. Pay attention to the following examples:

There is a glass of wine on the desk.

( Not there is a wine ...)

She always has a cigarette with her.

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