Home » [Update] Understanding Countable And Uncountable Nouns | countable or uncountable – NATAVIGUIDES

[Update] Understanding Countable And Uncountable Nouns | countable or uncountable – NATAVIGUIDES

countable or uncountable: นี่คือโพสต์ที่เกี่ยวข้องกับหัวข้อนี้

Here is a fun challenge: Let’s count some of the things you see around you. Count how many chairs are in the room you are in or how many clouds are in the sky if you are outside. Now, count how much happiness you have—one happiness, two happinesses, 987 happinesses?! Did our little challenge suddenly become a lot more difficult? If you know your grammar, you probably know that the words chairs, clouds, and happiness are all nouns, words that refer to people, places, things, and ideas. Our not-much-fun challenge has shown the difference between two particular types of nouns that we use. These are countable nouns and uncountable nouns.

Countable noun vs. uncountable noun

A countable noun, or count noun, is “a noun that typically refers to a countable thing and that in English can be used in both the singular and the plural and can be preceded by the indefinite article a or an or by a number.”

An uncountable noun, or mass noun, is “a noun that typically refers to an indefinitely divisible substance or an abstract notion, and that in English cannot be used, in such a sense, with the indefinite article or in the plural.”

Putting it simply, countable nouns refer to people, places, things, and ideas that you can count (1, 2, 3, 100, 987,00,000, etc.), and uncountable nouns refer to things you can’t. Let’s explore each of these types of nouns more thoroughly so you can get a better idea of how they are different.

Countable nouns

Of the two, countable nouns are more common and are relatively easier to understand. A simple way to tell if a noun is a countable noun is to ask yourself if the person or thing the noun is referring to can be counted. Most nouns that refer to people and places, for example, are countable nouns. Countable nouns can be either singular nouns or plural nouns. Countable nouns can use the articles a or an, and it makes sense to precede countable nouns with a number.

Examples of countable nouns

Many different nouns that refer to people, places, and things are countable nouns.


  • People: friend, strangers, boy, girls, hunter, children, assistant, boss
  • Places: island, town, countries, continent, neighborhoods, basement, garages
  • Things: bags, hat, computer, books, vehicle, artichokes, wheel, trophies

Although it may seem strange at first glance, some abstract nouns can also be countable nouns. Ask yourself if it makes sense to put the articles a or an or a number in front of these nouns and you will see that these nouns can be countable nouns:


  • idea, guesses, question, suggestion, alternatives, opportunities, dream, goals, problem

Don’t count yourself out if you need more explanation. We have a full discussion on countable nouns here.

Uncountable nouns

Compared to countable nouns, uncountable nouns are less common and are often harder to spot. An uncountable noun refers to a thing that cannot be counted. Unlike countable nouns, most uncountable nouns cannot use the articles a or an or can’t be preceded by a number. In addition, most uncountable nouns are treated as singular nouns and they don’t typically have plural forms.

Examples of uncountable nouns

Most uncountable nouns are abstract nouns that refer to things such as emotions, qualities, and concepts.


  • Emotions: sadness, happiness, rage, anger, confusion, loneliness, envy
  • Qualities: bravery, cruelty, kindness, agility, laziness, dedication, patience
  • Concepts: cooperation, obscurity, art, entertainment, boredom, poverty, intelligence

Sometimes, concrete nouns can be uncountable nouns. Look at each of these words and think about if it makes any sense to put the articles a or an or a number in front of them:

  • furniture, police, water, luggage, bread, baggage, air, milk, rain, snow, fog, smoke, wood, gold

Explore uncountable nouns even further in our useful article about them.

How do you use countable and uncountable nouns?

We have touched on it a little bit, but we use countable and uncountable nouns in different ways to make grammatically correct sentences.

As we’ve noted, countable nouns can typically use the articles a and an while uncountable nouns can’t. For example, it is correct to say I have a cat, but it is incorrect to say, “I bought a bread at the store.” (Instead, we’d say I bought a loaf of bread at the stores—two loaves, actually, because all this counting is making us hungry.)

Countable nouns can also follow a number while uncountable nouns cannot. You can say She owns three houses but it is wrong to say, “He feels two happinesses.” (Although some people may break grammatical rules for humorous effect.)

Countable nouns can be either singular or plural, which means they can use either singular or plural verbs as in The monkey eats bananas and My sisters are rich. Most uncountable nouns are singular nouns and use singular verbs as in Grammar is important. 

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Uncountable nouns often don’t have plural forms: for example, we generally don’t say our house is full of “furnitures” nor do we put “milks” in our coffee. Rather than use plural nouns, we often instead use the form “X of Y” to refer to different amounts of an uncountable noun. For example, we would say that we have three boxes of junk or a load of junk rather than incorrectly saying that we have “three junks” or “a junk.”

However, some uncountable nouns are plural and use plural verbs as in The police are at the crime scene or Those extra services were too expensive. Be careful of sneaky uncountable nouns like these!

The gray areas

Sometimes, a word can appear to be either a countable or uncountable noun depending on how it is used. For example, a person may say they want “two waters” or that they need “three ketchups” when they actually mean they want two bottles of water or three packets of ketchup.  

This gray area is common when dealing with words with multiple meanings. Sometimes, a word can be either a countable noun or an uncountable noun depending on what exactly it is referring to. For example, the word iron can refer to an appliance used to get wrinkles out of clothes. In this case, iron is a countable noun because it makes sense to say We bought three irons at the store. However, the word iron can also refer to a chemical element. In this case, iron is now an uncountable noun because it doesn’t make sense to say that a molecule has “six irons.” It either contains iron or it doesn’t.

This is especially common when dealing with abstract nouns. For example, delight is an uncountable noun when referring to the happy emotion, but it is a countable noun when it refers to something or someone that causes happiness; It is grammatically correct to say The toy box was filled with many delights.

Tips for differentiating countable vs. uncountable nouns

It may seem obvious, but the biggest tip that will help you decide if a noun is a countable noun or an uncountable noun is to determine if whatever the noun is referring to can be counted or not. If it can, it is a countable noun. If it can’t, it is an uncountable noun. You can count beans, so beans is a countable noun. You can’t count greed, so greed is an uncountable noun.

Countable and uncountable nouns and fewer vs. less

Countable nouns lead us to the heated fewer vs. less debate. In general, we use fewer with countable nouns as in I need to buy fewer apples next time and less with uncountable nouns as in I think the puppy did better with less discipline. However, there are many exceptions to this general rule, such as when referring to distances as in The store is less than three miles away.

The words less and fewer are used interchangeably more and more often in everyday speech (no matter how grammar purists may feel about it—and they often feel very strongly about it).

Proper nouns issues

Up until now, we have only been focused on common nouns. But what about proper nouns? In general, we treat all proper nouns as if they are uncountable nouns. Proper nouns almost always follow the rules of uncountable nouns in that it doesn’t make sense to precede them with a, an, or a number. We don’t buy cars made by “a Toyota” and we don’t speak “six Germans.”

However, it is accurate to say that England has had six King Georges. Is the plural noun King Georges a countable noun in this sentence? We cannot solve this debate right now, but the important thing to keep in mind is that some people may argue that proper nouns can be considered countable nouns.

Finally, let’s put everything you have learned about countable and uncountable nouns to the test. Each of the following sentences has one example of a countable and uncountable noun. Can you tell which is which?


  1. Dolphins are known for their intelligence.
  2. I need to get more oil for my car.
  3. The tiny house was made of gingerbread.
  4. There is a baseball sitting in the grass.
  5. My daughters love to play baseball.
  6. I really like grammar, but I still need to learn about nouns.

Sneaky nouns, be gone!

You can count on Thesaurus.com’s Grammar Coach™. This writing tool  uses machine learning technology uniquely designed to catch grammar and spelling errors. Its Synonym Swap will find the best nouns, adjectives, and more to help say what you really mean, guiding you toward clearer, stronger, writing.


Answers: 1. Countable; uncountable 2. Uncountable; countable 3. Countable; uncountable 4. Countable; uncountable 5. Countable; uncountable 6. Uncountable; countable

[Update] Recognizing and using uncountable nouns | countable or uncountable – NATAVIGUIDES

Uncountable nouns, also known as mass nouns or noncount nouns, refer to a mass of something or an abstract concept that can’t be counted (except with a unit of measurement). In contrast, countable nouns can be counted as individual items.

The main rules to remember for uncountable nouns are that they cannot be pluralized, and that they never take indefinite articles (a or an).

Common examples of uncountable nouns

Type of noun

Abstract concepts and physical phenomena
research, advice, information, knowledge, money, logic, gravity, acceleration, pollution, feedback, traffic, radiation, biomass, lightning

Substances, materials and foods
air, water, blood, algae, mud, grass, seaweed, graphite, clay, quartz, rice, flour, meat

Elements, chemicals and gases
helium, iron, copper, hydrochloric acid, calcium carbonate, carbon monoxide, methane

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Disciplines and fields
biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geography, psychology, economics, aquaculture, trigonometry

Countable or uncountable?

Some nouns in English, like those in the table above, are always (or nearly always) uncountable. Many other nouns, however, can be countable or uncountable depending on the context.

To identify whether a noun is countable or uncountable in a particular context, consider whether you are referring to a single tangible item, entity or type of something, or if you are describing a general mass or idea of something.

Examples of nouns that can be countable or uncountable

Type of noun
Other examples

Abstract concepts
He rarely feels



A fear

of spiders is known as arachnophobia.
Concepts can often be countable or uncountable: weight, love, courage, strength, time, beauty, pressure, vision, business.

Substances, materials and phenomena
Houseplants need the optimum amount of


to thrive.
She saw

a light

at the end of the tunnel.
Many nouns referring to substances are also used to refer to individual items or types of the substance in question: bone, skin, light, sound, solid, liquid, gas, plastic, acid, alkali.

Types of something


is an excellent source of protein.
Coral reefs are home to a huge variety of


Many uncountables, including food, drink, and other substances, can become countable when referring to a specific type of the noun in question: a Chilean wine, soft cheeses, toxic gases.

Java produces excellent


I had

two coffees

this morning.
Liquids are usually uncountable, but when referring to a single drink they are often colloquially used as countables: a beer, a tea, a water, a coke.

Are uncountable nouns singular or plural?

Uncountable nouns should be treated as singular, and thus should always be used with singular verbs to ensure correct subject-verb agreement.

  • Knowledges are


  • Knowledge are


  • Knowledge is


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Using articles with uncountable nouns

Singular countable nouns generally require an article or other determiner (e.g. the interview, a participant, my hypothesis). Uncountable nouns, in contrast, can usually stand alone without an article.

Because uncountable nouns can’t be counted as a single item, indefinite articles (a or an) should never be used with them.

  • The admissions office can provide

    an advice

    about arranging accommodation.

  • The admissions office can provide


    about arranging accommodation.

The definite article the can be used when you are referring to a particular instance or specific mass of an uncountable noun.

  • All living things require


    to survive.

  • We wanted to swim but

    the water

    was too cold.

Numbers and amounts

Many uncountable nouns are associated with words that break them up into countable units. This is helpful when you want to refer to a single or numbered instance or unit.

  • A piece of advice.
  • A head of broccoli.
  • A bolt of lightning.
  • Ten items of feedback.

Finding the correct term to describe amounts can be tricky. Many terms that describe amount (e.g. some, a lot of and most) can be used with both uncountable and countable nouns (although note that these terms are often too vague to use in academic writing).

  • Uncountable:

    Some vegetation

    has started to grow over the study site.

  • Countable:

    Some chickens

    have also been spotted in the area.

  • Uncountable: After 5 minutes

    most of

    the calcium carbonate should be dissolved.

  • Countable:

    Most of

    the chemicals are not easy to obtain.

However, there are certain terms that can only be used with either uncountable or countable nouns. Make sure to choose correctly between less/fewer, much/many, and amount/number.



Isolated parts of the ocean contain

less pollution

Isolated parts of the ocean contain

fewer pollutants



much money

has been spent on this project.

many dollars

have been spent on this project.

Amount of
We discovered a significant

amount of

green algae in the lake.
Number of
We discovered a significant

number of

microorganisms in the lake.

“Research” and “data”

In academic writing, research and data are two uncountable nouns that are notoriously difficult to use correctly.

Never add s to pluralise research or data. (Note that the word researches is only correct when used as the third-person singular of the verb to research.)

  • We review


    about the financial crisis of 2007.

  • We review


    about the financial crisis of 2007.

  • The experiments produced a large amount of



  • The experiments produced a large amount of



Always use research as a singular noun.

  • Research are

    lacking in this area.

  • Research is

    lacking in this area.

Data, however, can be used as a singular or plural noun.

  • Data was

    collected through semi-structured interviews.

  • Data were

    collected through semi-structured interviews.

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15 'Some things you can count, some things you can't' Song  (Countable/Uncountable)  English on Tour

Countable nouns and uncountable nouns explained in SLOW EASY ENGLISH!

WARNING: If your kids are watching with you, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_98XzszVsk! This video contains a joke that some parents didn’t like. This video is marked \”not for children\” but some some people are using it to teach their kids. It’s the same video but with the joke removed.

In English, we have both countable nouns and uncountable nouns. Countable nouns are things that are easy to count such as cars, tables, people, fingers, etc. Uncountable nouns are things that are not easily countable such as water, milk, sand, air, etc. And some nouns are both countable AND uncountable, depending on how you’re thinking about the item! You can also call these count and noncount nouns.

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Countable nouns and uncountable nouns explained in SLOW EASY ENGLISH!

Countable and Uncountable Nouns in English

The difference between countable and uncountable nouns in English.
What is a countable noun?
What is an uncountable noun?
We look at when to use singular or plural verbs with these nouns.
We learn about the common types of uncountable nouns which include:
abstract ideas
liquids and gases
things made of smaller parts
common mistakes
We discover why \”Money\” is uncountable.
For more details and examples of countable and uncountable nouns, see our lesson here:
CountableNouns UncountableNouns EnglishGrammar
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Countable and Uncountable Nouns in English

Countable And Uncountable Nouns | English Grammar \u0026 Composition Grade 3 | Periwinkle

Countable And Uncountable Nouns | English Grammar \u0026 Composition Grade 3 | Periwinkle
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Countable And Uncountable Nouns | English Grammar \u0026 Composition Grade 3 | Periwinkle

Learn English – Countable and Uncountable Nouns

In this video, we will look at noun countability and how this impacts other aspects of grammar in the sentence. One thing we need to know about nouns in English is whether we can count them or not: some nouns are countable, some uncountable and some nouns can be both.

Learn English - Countable and Uncountable Nouns

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ขอบคุณที่รับชมกระทู้ครับ countable or uncountable

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