Countable and Uncountable Nouns
In English grammar, countable nouns are individual people, animals, places, things, or ideas which can be counted. Uncountable nouns are not individual objects, so they cannot be counted. Here, we’ll take a look at countable and uncountable nouns and provide both countable noun examples and uncountable noun examples. Although the concept may seem challenging, you’ll soon discover that these two different noun types are very easy to use.
Countable Noun Examples
Anything that can be counted, whether singular – a dog, a house, a friend, etc. or plural – a few books, lots of oranges, etc. is a countable noun. The following countable noun examples will help you to see the difference between countable and uncountable nouns. Notice that singular verbs are used with singular countable nouns, while plural verbs are used with plural countable nouns.
- There are at least twenty Italian restaurants in Little Italy.
- Megan took a lot of photographs when she went to the Grand Canyon.
- Your book is on the kitchen table.
- How many candles are on that birthday cake?
- You have several paintings to study in art appreciation class.
- There’s a big brown dog running around the neighborhood.
Uncountable Noun Examples
Anything that cannot be counted is an uncountable noun. Even though uncountable nouns are not individual objects, they are always singular and one must always use singular verbs in conjunction with uncountable nouns. The following uncountable noun examples will help you to gain even more understanding of how countable and uncountable nouns differ from one another. Notice that singular verbs are always used with uncountable nouns.
- There is no more water in the pond.
- Please help yourself to some cheese.
- I need to find information about Pulitzer Prize winners.
- You seem to have a high level of intelligence.
- Please take good care of your equipment.
- Let’s get rid of the garbage.
Uncountable nouns can be paired with words expressing plural concept. Using these words can make your writing more specific. Here are some examples of how to format interesting sentences with uncountable nouns.
• Garbage – There are nine bags of garbage on the curb.
• Water – Try to drink at least eight glasses of water each day.
• Advice – She gave me a useful piece of advice.
• Bread – Please buy a loaf of bread.
• Furniture – A couch is a piece of furniture.
• Equipment – A backhoe is an expensive piece of equipment.
• Cheese – Please bag ten slices of cheese for me.
Countable and Uncountable Nouns Exercises
Is the underlined noun countable or uncountable?
- The children fell asleep quickly after a busy day of fun.
- Be careful! The water is deep.
- The parade included fire trucks and police cars.
- We like the large bottles of mineral water.
- My mother uses real butter in the cakes she bakes.
- How many politicians does it take to pass a simple law?
- Most kids like milk, but Joey hates it.
- Most pottery is made of clay.
- Michael can play several different musical instruments.
- I was feeling so stressed that I ate an entire box of cookies.
Answers: 1 – countable, 2 – uncountable, 3 – countable, 4 – countable, 5 – uncountable, 6 – countable, 7 – uncountable, 8 – uncountable, 9 – countable, 10 – countable