Countables x Uncountables

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Hello everyone!

In this post we are going to learn how to use Countables & Uncountables in English.

Countable Nouns

Countable Nouns have a singular and a plural form.


shop / shops

baby / babies

dish / dishes

* We use these words with countable nouns: a, an, many, a few, one, two, three, etc.

* A few countable nouns have irregular plurals:

one child / two children

one foot / two feet

one man / two men

one person / two people

one tooth / two teeth

one woman / two women

Uncountable Nouns

We cannot count some nouns, that is why they are called uncountable. They are usually:

Abstract ideas: love, freedom, education, luck, help, beauty, music, thunder, etc.

Made of smaller parts, portions: sugar, rice, sand, flour, dirt, dust, grass, spaghetti, etc.

Some food: bread, fish, cheese, chocolate, meat, bacon, ham, etc.

Liquids and gases: water, milk, wine, oil, coffee, rain, soup, air, smoke, blood, juice, fog, etc.

Materials: wood, glass, paper, gold, silver, ice, iron, cotton, wool, steel, etc.

Other examples: advice, furniture, hair, homework, information, money, news, luggage, work, etc.

* We use these words with uncountable nouns: a little, much, a bit of, a piece of, etc.

* Special Rules – Countable & Uncountable Nouns

There are some words that can be considered countable and uncountable with different meanings:


Paper (sheet to draw) – uncountable / a paper (newspaper) – countable

Glass (material) – uncountable / a glass (container for drinks) – countable / glasses (lenses) – uncountable

Hair (human head / body) uncountable

Fish (animal) – uncountable / fishes (species) – countable

Fruit (individual) – uncountable / fruits (different kinds) – countable

* We use these words with countable and uncountable nouns: a lot of, lots of, some, any, the, etc.


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