Uncountable Nouns

 In English, nouns can be categorized as countable or uncountable. Countable nouns are things we can count, such as "book", "apple" or "dog". We can make them plural. Uncountable nouns, also known as mass nouns, are things we cannot count, such as "water, "happiness" or "information". They have no plural. Here are some more uncountable nouns:

  • milk, juice, flour, rice
  • air, wood, plastic, steel
  • love, anger, advice, wisdom
  • money, news, music, luggage

Firstly, it is important to understand that uncountable nouns are always singular. They take a singular verb.

  • The weather is nice today.
  • The news travels fast in this small town.

Uncountable nouns do not have a plural form. This means that we cannot add "-s" at the end of a noun to show that there is more than one of it. For example, we cannot say "waters" or "moneys"

Uncountable nouns cannon be used with the indefinite articles a/an, which are used with singular countable nouns. For example, we cannot say "a information" or "a music". But, we can use partitive expressions to count or quantify many uncountable nouns.

  • a piece of news
  • a bit of advice
  • a slice of bread
  • a grain of rice
Uncountable nouns are often used with determiners like "some", "any", "much" or "a little" to show the amount or quantity of the noun.
  • There's some sugar left in the bowl.
  • Do you have any flour left for the recipe?
  • Much money doesn't guarantee happiness.
  • I prefer my coffee with a little milk and sugar
Some nouns can be both countable and uncountable. These nouns usually have different meanings. One example of a noun that can be both countable and uncountable is "hair". When "hair" is used as an uncountable noun, it refers to the substance that covers the human head or other parts of the body. When "hair" is used as a countable noun, it refers to a single strand of hair. For example:
  • I don't have much hair. (uncountable)
  • I found two hairs on my plate. (countable)
Some nouns are uncountable in English but often countable in other languages. This can be confusing for non-native speakers, but it is important to understand the differences between languages to avoid making mistakes. For example, "advice" is a countable noun in many languages. However, in English, advice is an uncountable noun, and we cannot say "I gave three advices to my friend". Instead, we would say "I gave my friend three pieces of advice". 

Uncountable nouns