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  • Hi, my name is Rebecca, and in today's lesson I'm going to show you some

  • easy tricks, when using countable and uncountable nouns, okay? So first

  • let's just do a quick review. What is a noun? In English, a noun, usually

  • refers to a person, place, or a thing.

  • Nouns can actually be classified in many, many different ways. We have

  • proper nouns and common nouns and so on. But for the purpose of this

  • lesson, we're going to focus on one way of classifying nouns, which is

  • whether we can count them or not.

  • Now that can cause a little bit of confusion, because sometimes you're not

  • sure if a nouns is something you can count or not. The ones you can count

  • are usually pretty obvious, the ones that we call "non-count" or

  • "uncountable nouns" are not so obvious, and therefore they cause a little

  • bit of confusion for English learners.

  • So I'm going to show you a way that you can distinguish between them, and

  • also a way that you can use them correctly afterwards in sentences, okay?

  • So let's look at the board. First of all, let's look at some examples

  • of countable nouns. Countable nouns are things you can count, like:

  • "chair/chairs", "table/tables", "books", "shops", "markers",

  • "shirts", okay? They can be singular or plural, all right?

  • And usually the plural form has an "s", so those are the countable nouns.

  • The uncountable nouns or the non-count nouns are ones which only have

  • the singular form. They don't have a separate plural form, okay?

  • So we can't say "sugar" and "sugars". We can only say "sugar", "furniture"

  • "equipment", "information", "advice", or "rain". So these are examples of

  • non-count nouns. So what causes confusion for people is to know when do

  • I say "many"? Can I say "many information"? "Much information"?

  • "Much markers"? "Many markers"?

  • This causes a lot of confusion for a lot of students, so I'm going to try to show

  • you a little trick that will help you to know when to say "many" - "much"

  • or what you can do if you don't want to make a mistake at all. So let's

  • look at what we can use first with the "countable nouns".

  • With countable nouns -- only -- you can use "a." Like you can say "a chair",

  • "a book". You can say "many shops", "many shirts", "many shops", "many

  • shirts". You can say "few tables" or "a few chairs." Any of these you can

  • use only with countable nouns.

  • Let's look on the other side here. These you can only use with the

  • uncountable nouns. For example, "much" -- "much information", "little

  • information", "a little bit of sugar". These three which I've listed here

  • under the "non-count", you can only use with the uncountable nouns.

  • Some people find that very confusing. So here's the trick! The trick is you

  • don't have to use this or this. If you use anything from this column, you

  • could actually use them for the countable nouns and the uncountable

  • nouns and you'll be grammatically perfect. So, if you're not 100% sure what

  • you can do? Be safe! Use something from here and it works for the

  • countable nouns and the uncountable nouns.

  • Let's see what those words are. We can say "the" -- "the information", "the

  • book". It works. "Some equipment", "some shirts" -- it works for both.

  • "I don't have any sugar in the house." or "I don't have any tables."

  • "No, there is no equipment at the office." "There are no books on the table."

  • It works for both countable and non-countable.

  • We can say, "I have a lot of markers of different colors." Or "I have a lot

  • of advice for you." Again, countable or uncountable. "We have lots of

  • chairs in the classroom." "We have lots of furniture in the shop."

  • "Enough" can also be used, or the last one, "plenty of."

  • "We have plenty of sugar. Don't worry." "We have plenty of books in the

  • library." So, if you're not sure which adjective or article to use with the

  • countable and non-countable nouns, use something from this column and

  • you'll always be right, okay?

  • So if you want to practice this, there are two things you can do. First, you

  • can go to our website,, and do a quiz on this particular topic.

  • You could also go to the Resources section of the same website,

  • There you'll find a list of the countable and non-countable nouns, and

  • some of these terms, everything listed for you. You can download that for

  • your reference, okay? So good luck with your English, and thanks very much for

  • watching. Bye for now.

  • Learn English for free

Hi, my name is Rebecca, and in today's lesson I'm going to show you some

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B1 UK countable uncountable count confusion information plural

English Grammar Tricks - Countable & Uncountable Nouns

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    Zenn posted on 2013/04/02
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