ENGLISH · GRAMMAR

COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

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Countable and uncountable nouns:

Nouns in English can be either countable or uncountable. When you learn them, you need to know if the noun is countable or uncountable as if influences the grammar we use.

 

Countable nouns: they can be counted 1, 2, 3

(Examples: people, jobs, cars, computers, days, hours, sweets, bottles, glasses)

 

In the affirmative, they use an article a, an or a determiner some.

  1. This is a language course
  2. These is an orange pen
  3. I have some friends in Japan

 

In the negative we use a, an or any

  1. It isn´t a huge house
  2. It isn´t an interesting lesson
  3. There aren´t any chairs to sit on

 

In the interrogative we also use a, an or any

  1. Is it a good project?
  2. Is she an awful teacher?
  3. Are there any ice creams left?

 

Uncountable nouns: these nouns cannot be counted and are normally used with a quantifier. (Examples: time, money, water, beer, wine, flour, cheese, butter, bread)

In the affirmative we use some. You cannot use a or an as there is no singular.

  1. I would like to drink some water

 

In the negative we use any. You cannot use a or an as there is no singular.

  1. I don´t have any time to waste

 

In the interrogative we use any. You cannot use a or an as there is no singular.

  1. Do you have money that you could lend me?

 

To make an uncountable noun countable, we useually use a quantifier.

(Examples: a piece of, a slice of, a glass of, a bottle of, a pile of)

  1. I want a slice of bread and cheese, and a bottle of beer for lunch

See our post on quantifiers HERE

 

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