Uncountable Nouns



Uncountable Nouns Explanation

Uncountable nouns are things we cannot count. Let's see the following examples.
  • air
  • gold
  • music
  • blood
  • happiness
  • water
  • sugar
  • salt

No Plural Uncountable Noun

Uncountable have no plural. you cannot say 'salts'  'airs' or sugars'.

A Determiner Before Uncountable Nouns

Before uncountable nouns you can use determiner such as : the, some,  any,  much,  this,  his,  etc. :
  • the music
  • some gold
  • a little salt
  • much excitement
  • his blood

No Indefinite Articles Before Uncountable Nouns

We cannot use indefinite article ( a/an) before an uncountable noun. So you cannot say  'a music', 'an air', 'a water'. We can use uncountable noun alone, with no article.  Let's see the following examples.
  • This ring is made of gold.
  • Water becomes more and more expensive.

Nouns That Can Be Countable And Uncountable

Many nouns can be used as countable or as uncountable nouns. Usually there is a difference in meaning. Let's see the following example.

  • I bought a paper.  ( = a newspaper - countable)
  • I bought some paper. ( = material for writing on - uncountable noun)
  • There's a hair in my meatball soup. ( = one single hair - countable noun)
  • Jane has beautiful hair. (= hair on her head - uncountable noun)

Uncountable Nouns That Can Be Countable In Other Languages

Some nouns are usually uncountable in English but often countable in other languages. Let's see the following examples.
  • accommodation 
  • advice
  • baggage
  • behaviour
  • bread
  • chaos
  • furniture
  • information
  • luggage
  • news
  • permission
  • progress
  • scenery
  • traffic
  • travel
  • trouble
  • weather
  • work
Let's see their use in sentences.
  1. I'm looking for accommodation. (not' an accommodation')
  2. I'm going to buy some bread. (or 'a loaf of bread '; but not  ' a bread')
  3. Tom gave me some good advice. ( not 'some good advices')
  4. Where are you going to put all your furniture? ? (not 'furnitures')
  5. The news is very depressing today . ( not 'the news are ... ')
  6. We had a good journey . ( not ' a good travel ')

Exercise

In this exercise you have to choose the right word(s) in the bracket to complete the sentences given.

  1. Good news ( don't, doesn't ) make people interested.
  2. Ann has got very beautiful ( hair, hairs).
  3. We haven't bought any ( furnitures, furniture ) yet.
  4. I need ( a bread, some bread ) to make some sandwiches.
  5. I'm going to write an application letter. I need ( a, some) writing paper.
  6. More and more people look for a ( work, job ) each year.
  7. The police asked for some ( information, informations ) from those two witnesses.
  8. Have you got any ( luggage, luggages) ?
  9. The teacher often gives the students ( advice, advices )
  10. What a lovely ( view, scenery ).

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