Count Nouns and Noncount Nouns

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Nouns are divided into the categories of Count and Noncount Nouns. The basic distinction is that count nouns can take the plural form, while noncount nouns cannot.

Noun Plural
apple apples
car cars
music No plural form
furniture No plural form

Count Nouns

Typically, count nouns refer to things that you can easily count.

  • bananas
  • boats
  • bottles
  • cars
  • countries
  • houses
  • pencils
  • ships
  • sticks
  • students

Noncount Nouns

Noncount nouns refer to things that by their nature are not easily countable. Often they are things in liquid or mass form or abstract ideas.

  • sand
  • beauty
  • butter
  • electricity
  • honesty
  • music
  • sand
  • satisfaction
  • truth
  • water

Other Noncount Nouns

Other noncount nouns are not as easy to determine and can lead to confusion.

  • advice
  • behavior
  • bread
  • chaos
  • clothing
  • dirt
  • equipment
  • food
  • fruit
  • furniture
  • grammar
  • homework
  • housework
  • information
  • jewelry
  • luck
  • luggage
  • mail
  • money
  • music
  • news
  • permission
  • progress
  • scenery
  • slang
  • stuff
  • traffic
  • vocabulary
  • weather
  • work

Nouns That Can Be Both Count and Noncount

Some nouns can be both count and noncount nouns. Usually there is a difference in meaning.

  • John has some chickens on his farm. (the whole birds)
  • Mary ate some chicken for dinner (the stuff you eat)
  • John has a fish in his aquarium. (the whole fish)
  • Mary had some fish for lunch. (the stuff you eat)
  • There are two hairs in my soup. (two individual hairs)
  • Your hair is pretty. (all of the hair on your head)

Test your knowledge

Directions: The phrase a lot of is used before noncount nouns and plural count nouns. Choose the best answer to fill in the blank. (10 problems)

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