Countable Noun and Uncountable Noun

Countable Noun and Uncountable Noun

1. Countable Noun

The nouns that can be counted are called countable nouns.

Coins, dogs, boys, birds, apples, etc.

They have a singular and a plural forms. The singular form can use the determiner ‘a’ or ‘an’, If you want to ask about the quantity of a countable noun, you ask How many?, combined with the plural countable noun.

Singular Plural
one cat two cats
one man two men
one horse two horses
one thing two things
one shop two shops
one car two cars


1. She has three cats.

2. I have a house.

3. I would like two books and one pen, please.

4. How many cars do you have?

2. Uncountable Noun

The nouns that cannot be counted, although we can measure or weigh them, are called uncountable nouns.

Bread, milk, water, gold, rice, etc.

In general, non-count nouns are considered to refer to indivisible wholes (which are not individual objects and can not be counted). For this reason, they are sometimes called MASS nouns. Uncountable nouns are used to describe a quality, action, thing or substance that can be poured or measured. Non-Count nouns also refer to a whole category made up of different varieties or a whole group of things that is made up of many individual parts. Uncountable nouns are always singular. Use the singular form of the verb with uncountable nouns.

Example in Sentence:

1. There is some tea in that cup.

2. That is the tool we use for the work.

Things Qualities Actions Fields of Study
water sincerity thinking/to think biology
stuff integrity jumping/to jump history
money honesty swimming/to swim psychology
homework loyalty walking/to walk economics
luck dependability typing/to type social work
advice philosophy
ink anatomy
proof English
information religion
equipment theology
  • We cannot use a/an with these nouns (tea, sugar, water, air, rice, knowledge, beauty, anger, fear, love, money, research, safety, evidence).
  • To express a quantity of an uncountable noun, use a word or expression like some, a lot of, much, a bit of, a great deal of , or else use an exact measurement like a cup of, a bag of, 1kg of, 1L of, a handful of, a pinch of, an hour of, a day of.
  • If you want to ask about the quantity of an uncountable noun, you ask How much?


1. He did not have much sugar left.

2. There has been a lot of research into the causes of this disease.

3. He gave me a great deal of advice before my interview.

4. Can you give me some information about uncountable nouns?

5. Measure 1 cup of water, 300g of flour, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

6. How much rice do you want?

Some nouns are countable in other languages but uncountable in English. They must follow the rules for uncountable nouns. The most common ones are: accommodation, advice, baggage, behavior, bread, furniture, information, luggage, news, progress, traffic, travel, trouble, weather, work.


1. I didn’t make much progress today.

2. I would like to give you some advice.

3. This looks like a lot of trouble to me.

4. How much bread should I bring?

5. We did an hour of work yesterday.

Be careful with the noun hair which is normally uncountable in English, so it is not used in the plural. It can be countable only when referring to individual hairs.


1. The child’s hair was curly.

2. She has long blond hair.

3. My father is getting a few grey hairs now. (refers to individual hairs)

4. I washed my hair yesterday.

5. I found a hair in my soup! (refers to a single strand of hair)

Singular nouns and Plural nouns

The nouns which can be counted are further classified as: Singular nouns (one) and Plural nouns (two or more).

1. This characteristic of countable nouns is called ‘number of a noun‘.

2. Some nouns, like the word time, beauty, fire, death, gossip can be used as either a count noun, or a non-count noun.

  1. Noun: Classification and Formation Of Abstract Nouns
  2. The Noun and Number: Singular and Plural Nouns
  3. The Noun and Case: Possessive Nouns
  4. Gender: Noun and Gender, Types and Examples
  5. Count Nouns vs. Non-Count Nouns

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