Countable and uncountable nouns πŸ˜…

Is this noun countable or uncountable ?

Most of you would have learnt that some nouns are countable ( dollars $$ ) and some nouns are uncountable ( money πŸ’°) and the rules which go with using countable and uncountable nouns.
Let’s do a little revision on this πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸŽ“

*We use many and few for countable nouns.

There are many students who study online these days .

*We use much and little for uncountable nouns.

Do you have much knowledge about uncountable nouns ?
Note : we use much in negative statements and questions.

*We use a lot of for both countable and uncountable nouns.

There are a lot of different smartphones on the market these days.

Nowadays there is a lot of new technology which makes our lives easier.

*Uncountable nouns take a singular verb.

The new software is very user-friendly .

*We must use a determiner ( a / the / my etc. ) before a singular countable noun.

My new laptop is amazing.

When we first learn that nouns can be countable or uncountable, we learn which ones are which, but as you advance in your English learning, you will see many nouns can be both countable and uncountable depending on the context.

Let’s look at the following sentences which have nouns which can be both countable and uncountable.

Can I please have a slice of cake ? 🍰 In this sentence, the person is not asking for a whole cake but a piece of a cake so cake here is uncountable.

Can I please have a cake? 🧁 In this sentence, the person is asking for one whole cake so cake here is countable.

I want chicken for dinner πŸ— In this sentence, the person is saying they want to eat chicken meat for dinner and it is uncountable.

There are many chickens on that farm πŸ“ In this sentence, chickens refer to animals and here they are countable.

He hasn’t had much experience in this industry so we need to train him. Experience in this sentence means time spent doing something in a specific area or industry and it is uncountable.

I had many interesting experiences when I lived in Japan. Here, experience refers to different things or events which one can experience and it is countable.

Do you have enough time to help me with this project? Here, time is uncountable and is used in the context of how much time ( measured in minutes, hours, days etc.) it takes to do something.

He has been to Fiji many times. In this sentence , time is referring to how often one has done something ( it refers to an occurrence ).

Could I please have a glass of wine? 🍷
In this sentence, glass is countable as it refers to a container you put drinks in.

These wine glasses are made of beautiful glass. In this sentence, we have glasses as countable ( in the plural ) and then we have glass as an uncountable noun- it refers to material which is used to make things.

Mini quiz time πŸ“

Are the following sentences correct ?

There isn’t much room in my house.

I think the furnitures in this house are beautiful.

There isn’t enough light in this room to read.

I must go shopping to buy more equipment for my new project.

Answers :

Number 1 is correct ( There aren’t many rooms in my house is also correct – room is both countable and uncountable )

Number 2 is incorrect ( furniture is uncountable)

Number 3 is correct ( There aren’t enough lights is also correct – light is both countable and uncountable )

Number 4 is correct ( equipment is uncountable)

So , please keep in mind that although you may have learnt a noun as countable or uncountable , it could be both depending on the meaning and context 😊

Published by rachelkimschultz

I have been in the ESL industry for over 25 years , first starting out teaching English in Japan after I graduated from university . I have taught English in Australia for about 20 years to many different nationalities which I love and I have also taught TESOL Certificate IV so I am a teacher trainer as well. I have worked as an academic manager for about 8 years, managing, training and supporting teachers. I love teaching all levels of English and enjoy teaching TOEIC ,IELTS and Cambridge Exam (PET, FCE and CAE) preparation courses.

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