In English grammar, words that refer to people, places, or things are called nouns. They can be classified in many ways.

One way to classify nouns is according to whether they can be counted or not. Many English mistakes are related to this point. By reading through this page, you will understand:

  • what countable and uncountable nouns are
  • how to use them correctly in a sentence

Countable (or count) nouns are words which can be counted. They have a singular form and a plural form. They usually refer to things. Most countable nouns become plural by adding an ‘s’ at the end of the word.

For example:

Singular Plural
chair chairs
bottle bottles
student students

Uncountable (or non-count) nouns are words which cannot be counted. Therefore, they only have a singular form. They have no plural forms. These words are thought of as wholes rather than as parts. They usually refer to abstractions (such as confidence or advice) or collectives (such as equipment or luggage).

For example:

Singular
money
furniture
information

Using Countable & Uncountable Nouns

When using countable or uncountable nouns, pay attention to articles and adjectives! Some articles and adjectives can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns. However, others can be used with only countable or only uncountable nouns.

Used with Countable Nouns Only
a a doctor, a pen, a meal, a class, a college
many many cups, many books, many libraries, many flights
few few questions, few tables, few apples, few holidays, few countries
a few a few questions, a few problems, a few issues, a few issues
Used with Uncountable Nouns Only
much much money, much time, much food, much water, much energy
little little trouble, little equipment, little meat, little patience
a little bit of a little bit of confidence, a little bit of sleep, a little bit of snow
Used with Countable & Uncountable Nouns
the countable the monkeys, the schools, the teachers, the boats, the bananas
uncountable the cheese, the machinery, the luggage, the grass, the knowledge
some countable some tables, some stores, some grapes, some cities, some nurses
uncountable some time, some news, some bread, some salt, some mail
any countable any forks, any socks, any bathrooms, any waiters, any beliefs
uncountable any advice, any soap, any transportation, any gold, any homework
no countable no magazines, no chocolates, no pilots, no rings, no markers
uncountable no trouble, no grass, no scenery, no money, no furniture
a lot of countable a lot of animals, a lot of coins, a lot of immigrants, a lot of babies
uncountable a lot of help, a lot of aggravation, a lot of happiness, a lot of fun
lots of countable lots of computers, lots of buses, lots of parties, lots of colleges
uncountable lots of cake, lots of ice cream, lots of energy, lots of laughter
enough countable enough plates, enough onions, enough restaurants, enough worries
uncountable enough courage, enough wisdom, enough spaghetti, enough time
plenty of countable plenty of houses, plenty of concerts, plenty of guitars, plenty of
uncountable plenty of oil, plenty of sugar, plenty of cheese, plenty of space

List of Uncountable Nouns (These are sample uncountable nouns only! There are many more.)

    General

  • homework
  • equipment
  • luggage
  • clothing
  • furniture
  • machinery
  • gold
  • silver
  • cotton
  • glass
  • jewelery
  • perfume
  • soap
  • paper
  • wood
  • petrol
  • gasoline
  • baggage
  • hair
  • traffic

    Abstract

  • advice
  • help
  • fun
  • recreation
  • enjoyment
  • information
  • knowledge
  • news
  • patience
  • happiness
  • progress
  • confidence
  • courage
  • education
  • intelligence
  • space
  • energy
  • laughter
  • peace
  • pride

    Food

  • food
  • flour
  • meat
  • rice
  • cake
  • bread
  • ice cream
  • cheese
  • toast
  • pasta
  • spaghetti
  • butter
  • oil
  • honey
  • soup
  • fish
  • fruit
  • salt
  • tea
  • coffee

    Weather

  • thunder
  • lightning
  • snow
  • rain
  • sleet
  • ice
  • heat
  • humidity
  • hail
  • wind
  • light
  • darkness

    Languages

  • English
  • Portuguese
  • Hindi
  • Arabic
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Russian
  • Italian
  • Hebrew
  • Chinese

    Subjects/Fields

  • mathematics
  • economics
  • physics
  • ethics
  • civics
  • art
  • architecture
  • music
  • photography
  • grammar
  • chemistry
  • history
  • commerce
  • engineering
  • politics
  • sociology
  • psychology
  • vocabulary
  • archaeology
  • poetry

    Sports

  • golf
  • tennis
  • baseball
  • basketball
  • soccer
  • football
  • cricket
  • hockey
  • rugby
  • chess
  • poker
  • bridge

    Activities

  • swimming
  • walking
  • driving
  • jogging
  • reading
  • writing
  • listening
  • speaking
  • cooking
  • sleeping
  • studying
  • working

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Quiz

Test your understanding of this English lesson

Test your understanding of the English lesson by answering these questions. You will get the answers and your score at the end of the quiz.
Would you like _____________ pizza?

Which of the following is incorrect?

We need ___________ chairs for the meeting.

Do we have ______ milkĀ in the house?

We need to buy _____________ computer equipment.

My father gave me _________________ while I was growing up.

Could you please give me __________________ about the English courses you offer?

Yes, we've had _______________ this year.

I don't think we have _______________ drinks for all the guests.

Don't worry, we have ____________ time to get to the airport.

There are _________ clothing stores in the mall.


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