Guide to Countable and Uncountable Nouns in English

Today we are going to learn more about what countable and uncountable nouns are and the most common expression of quantity

Countable nouns are for things we can count using numbers. They have a singular and a plural form.

For example:

  • There’s a man at the door.
  • I have some friends in New York.

Uncountable nouns are for the things that we cannot count with numbers. They may be the names for abstract ideas or qualities or for physical objects that are too small or too amorphous to be counted

For example:

  • There’s some milk in the fridge.
  • There isn’t any coffee.

Countable and Uncountable Nouns: Expressions of Quantity

When using countable or uncountable nouns, pay attention to articles and adjectives!

Some articles and adjectives can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns. However, others can be used with only countable or only uncountable nouns.

Used with Countable Nouns Only

These are some of the expressions of time that can be used with countable nouns only.

a / anI know a doctor
manyI have many friends
fewFew countries support death penalty
a fewI have a few problems

Used with Uncountable Nouns Only

These are some of the expressions of time that can be used with uncountable nouns only.

muchI don’t have much time
littleI  have little patience
a little bit ofDo you have a little bit of sugar

Used With Countable and Uncountable Nouns

These are the expressions of quantity which can be used with countable and uncountable nouns

TheCountableI know the teachers
TheUncountableI bought the cheese
SomeCountableI fixed some tables
SomeUncountableDo you have some money
AnyCountableI don’t have any socks
AnyUncountableDo you have any advice?
NoCountableI have no magazines
NoUncountableI have no money
Plenty ofCountableShe has plenty of houses
Plenty ofCountableshe has plenty of space
EnoughCountableI have enough cars
EnoughUncountableI don’t have enough time
Lots ofCountableI have lots of computers
Lots ofUncountableI have lots of money
A lot ofCountableShe has a lot of animals
A lot ofUncountableI had a lot of fun

Uncountable Nouns List

This is a list of the most common uncountable nouns in English

HomeworkEquipmentLuggage
ClothingFurnitureGold
SilverCottonGlass
JewelrySoapPaper
HairTrafficFood
GasolineMeatRice
ButterHoneySoup
OilFishSalt
CoffeeBreadwood
HappinessInformationKnowledge
AdviceHelp Fun
SpaceEnergyPeace
EducationProgressPatience
PoetryMusic Art

Uncountable Nouns Examples

These are some examples of sentence with uncountable nouns

  1. There is no more water in the pond.
  2. Please help yourself to some cheese.
  3. I don’t have enough money to buy presents for everybody
  4. I need to find information about Pulitzer Prize winners.
  5. You seem to have a high level of intelligence.
  6. Please take good care of your equipment.
  7. There is plenty of space for everyone in the car.
  8. Let’s get rid of the garbage.

Uncountable Nouns: Plural Concepts

Uncountable nouns can be paired with words expressing plural concept:

  • I need at least seven pieces of wood for the fire
  • I have to drink eight glasses of water each day
  • A backhoe is an expensive piece of equipment
  • She just ate eight slices of cheese
  • My friend bought 80 bottles of water for all competitors
  • My mother told me to buy seven bags of rice
  • I need to buy a carton of milk for the rice pudding
  • There is a jam of marmalade in the Kitchen
  • There is a can of coke in the fridge
  • I need a pair of scissors for the project
  • Don’t forget to buy a bag of rice when you go shopping.
  • Can I have one cup of coffee and two cups of tea.
  • The police found some items of clothing scattered around the floor.
  • Go to the supermarket and buy eight cans of tuna
  • She wanted to give a piece of advice but I didn’t take it
  • I need a truck that will take at least three pieces of furniture.
  • You’d think a tablespoon of honey would be more than enough.

Video: Uncountable and Uncountable

This is a good video that summarizes everything you have read so far

Quizzes: Countable and Uncountable Nouns

These are some quizzes and exercises that can help you understand countable and uncountable nouns

Related Information

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  4. Prefixes and Suffixes Examples
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  6. List of Intensifiers and Mitigators
  7. Demonstrative Pronouns Examples
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Jose Manuel Campos N - English Professor

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I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share content and lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English