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Countable and Uncountable Nouns

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Nuria Siscar

on 14 June 2014

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Transcript of Countable and Uncountable Nouns

"People" is countable. "People" is the plural of "person". We can count people:
There is one person here.
There are three people here.
Uncountable nouns are substances, concepts etc that we cannot divide into separate elements. We cannot "count" them. For example, we cannot count "milk". We can count "bottles of milk" or "litres of milk", but we cannot count "milk" itself.
p a r t i t i v e s t r u c t u r e
quantity + measure word (partitive, countable noun) +"of"+ uncountable noun
two cups of coffee
several games of tennis
a drop of water
English Tip!
Uncountable Nouns
Nouns that can be Countable and Uncountable
Uncountable nouns are also called "mass nouns".
Here are some more examples of countable and uncountable nouns:


dollar money
song music
suitcase luggage
table furniture
battery electricity
bottle wine
report information
tip advice
journey travel
job work
view scenery

When you learn a new word, it's a good idea to learn whether it's countable or uncountable.
Sometimes, the same noun can be countable and uncountable, often with a change of meaning.


: There are two hairs in my coffee! I don't have much hair.
:There are two lights in our bedroom. Close the curtain. There's too much light!
: Shhhhh! I thought I heard a noise. It's difficult to work when there is so much noise.
: Have you got a paper to read? (newspaper) I want to draw a picture. Have you got some paper?
: We had a great time at the party. Have you got time for a cup of coffee?
: Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's greatest works. I have no money. I need work!
Monday, February 17, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Countable Nouns
English Tip!
Drinks (coffee, water, orange juice) are usually uncountable. But if we are thinking of a cup or a glass, we can say (in a restaurant, for example):
Two teas and one coffee please
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Countable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count. For example: "pen". We can count pens. We can have one, two, three or more pens.
Countable nouns can be singular or plural:

My cake
is tasty.
My cakes
are delicious.
With singular countable nouns we can use the indefinite article a/an and words like a/the/my/this:

A carrot is a vegetable.

I want
orange. (not I want orange.)
Where is
bottle? (not Where is bottle?)
With plural countable nouns, we can use them alone, with some/any and a number.

I like
I've got
Have you got
I've got

We usually treat uncountable nouns as singular. We use a singular verb. For example:

Water is very important for life.
Your luggage looks heavy.

We can't use a/an or a number with uncountable nouns, but we can use some expressions to make them countable:

I want a water
I want a bottle of water
I love eating one rice
I love eating a grain of rice

We can use some and any with uncountable nouns:

I've got some money.
Have you got any rice?
Let's Play!
What Am I?
Am I countable or uncountable?
Am I food?
Am I a fruit?
Am I a vegetable?
Am I a drink?
Am I red/ brown / yellow/ green/ transparent...?
Am I solid / liquid?
Am I in the fridge?
Am I sweet/ salty/ spicy/ acid?
Do I have more than one ingredient?
Do you eat me cold or hot?
Am I a/some/ ... ?
Some/ Any
They have the same meaning:
algunos/algo de

But we use them in different sentences:

sentences, we use

-We have got some juice in the fridge
sentences we use
-We haven't got any juice in the fridge
-Have you got any juice in the fridge?
We can use
in interrogative sentences when we offer or ask for something:
-Do you want some biscuits?
-Can I have some bread, please?
How much / How many...?
They have the same meaning
cuánto / cuántos

How much
is used with
How many
is used with
plural nouns
-How much money do you have?
How many people are there in the concert?
To answer these type of questions we normally use
there is/ there are
There is + singular
There is a euro in my pocket/ There is some money

There are + plural
: There are a lot of people in the concert

Student's book: Pages 46-47 exercises 1,3 and 4

Workbook: Pages 26-27 exercises 1-7

Dvolver: make a film using the present simple and present continuous, include countable and uncountable nouns if possible
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