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‡Countable and Uncountable nouns

Countable nouns are the names of
people and objects which can be
counted. Examples are: books, pen,
tree, boy, country etc.
Countable nouns have plural forms.
They can also be used with the
indefinite article a/an.
With singular countable nouns, we use
the singular form of the verb.
A spider has eight legs.
A computer is a useful machine.
That girl is very beautiful.
With plural countable nouns, we use
the plural form of the verb.
Apples are red.
Computers are useful.
Those books are expensive.
What are uncountable nouns?
Uncountable nouns are materials and
abstract ideas which cannot be
counted. Examples are: news,
information, rice, sand, water etc.
Uncountable nouns do not have plural
forms. They are usually used with the
singular form of the verb.
Some determiners can only be used
with countable nouns. Examples are:
many and few
She hasn’t got many friends.
He has few friends.
Some determiners can only be used
with uncountable nouns. Examples
are: much and little
I have little interest in politics.
How much money do you earn in a
Usually it is easy to see whether a
noun is countable or uncountable.
However, some nouns have both
countable and uncountable uses,
sometimes with a difference of
Problem cases
Some mass nouns in English are
countable, while some are
uncountable. Examples are given
Countable: bean / beans, pea / peas,
grape / grapes, fact / facts
Uncountable: rice, spaghetti, sugar,
salt, wheat, news

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