Are you aware of the fact that not all nouns are countable? Learning and adapting to English grammar will certainly help you in all walks of life, especially when it comes to your English communication skills. Nouns in the English language are divided majorly into 'countable' and 'uncountable'. This article will teach you the difference between the two as well as give you examples as to what is the right way of using each noun correctly.
What are countable nouns?
Countable nouns refer to nouns that can be counted. They have a singular as well as the plural form. They usually refer to things. In addition, most countable nouns become plural by adding an 's' at the end of the word.
What are uncountable nouns?
Uncountable nouns refer to words that cannot be counted. Hence, they only have a singular form and no plurals. These words are thought of as wholes and not parts. This means that they usually refer to abstractions or collectives.
When it comes to nouns, there are a few rules to remember:
Rule #1. Most of the nouns have singular and plural forms. These are countable nouns.
E.g. - One chocolate, two chocolates.
- There is a chocolate kept on the table. (Singular)
- There are four chocolates kept on the table. (Plural)
Rule #2. Some nouns have only one form. Those are called uncountable nouns.
E.g. - Cash
- My ATM has a little cash in it. (Singular)
- My ATM has loads of cash in it. (Plural)
Rule #3. Numerous uncountable nouns refer to substances/ things.
E.g. - Milk, sugar, coffee, salt, bread, rice, wood, plastic, soap.
- There is four liters of milk in the fridge.
- Five boxes of coffee, that's what you asked for, right?
- In the fridge, you will find a few cubes of cheese.
Rule #4. Numerous uncountable nouns refer to abstract ideas or emotions. (Non-tangible)
E.g. - Sadness, love, hatred, disgust, knowledge, education.
- No amount of money in the whole world can buy love.
- Happiness comes when you free yourself.
- Living with hatred is a negative way of life.
Rule #5. You can use a/an with singular countable nouns.
E.g. - An egg, a pencil, a dog.
- I had an egg for breakfast this morning.
- Could you lend me a pencil?
- A dog was walking down the street.
Rule #6. You can use plural countable nouns alone.
E.g. - Airplanes, crackers, messages.
- We saw so many airplanes perform amazing stunts that day.
- Diwali is the time to burn crackers.
- Your phone has so many messages!
Rule #7. You cannot use an article with an uncountable noun.
E.g. - Electricity, sad, creepy.
- This area has some shortage of electricity.
- He was very sad the other day.
- I want to stay away from that man's creepiness.
The above-mentioned seven rules are ideal to explain some of the most important English grammar words, which are nouns. To develop a deeper understanding in the English language, all you need to do is to enroll in an English learning course online to help better not only your English grammar skills but also your spoken English skills.
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- By Chander Madan
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