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  • Welcome to this initial online video tutorial on the differences between, and the use of

  • count and non-count nouns!

  • In this segment you are going to learn about the differences of the noun/verb agreement

  • of the two forms, the use of determiners in both the singular and plural forms of count

  • nouns and in the non-count forms, and the different categories that determine thecountability

  • ornon-countabilityof certain nouns. (We will touch base on some of theproblematic

  • forms in the next lesson.)

  • The concept of count versus non-count nouns presents special problems for students studying

  • English as a second language. First, choosing which nouns are countable and which nouns

  • are non-countable is by no means universal. For example, although somebody can advise

  • us several times, we can't say they give us advices. Yet that would translate quite nicely

  • into several other languages. We would say, in English, that they give us advice. In some

  • languages, it makes sense to sit in a restaurant with a friend and ask for waters (and get

  • two glasses of water) — this would sound very strange in English.

  • When talking about nouns (people, places, or things) AND when referring to one or many

  • of the items….we generally are talking aboutcountablethings. These are things such

  • as accounts, addresses, apartments, mistakes, products, and so on. (for a more complete

  • list see: …..).

  • Notice that I have mentioned all of these in the plural form, with the –s ending.

  • That is because we can refer toseveralof themin other words, “they are countable!”

  • There is, however, another category of nouns that is not possible to count and these generally

  • refer to materials, qualities, or actions. In the most general sense (and others will

  • be discussed in part 2) these are referring to qualities (intelligence/ patience), substances

  • (food/ salt), processes (teaching/ failure), and topics (philosophy/ love) rather than

  • to individual items or events.

  • For count nouns, when you use a singular form, you need to use a singular form of the verb:

  • A dog likes to eat far more meat than a human being.

  • In the same sense, when you are using the plural form, use a plural form of the verb:

  • Bigger dogs cost more.

  • When using non-count or uncountable things as the subject, you need to use a singular

  • form of the verb: Intelligence is determined by how one responds

  • to a certain situation, not by a score on a test.

  • Salt that has lost its flavor is useless. It is believed that teaching is one of the

  • more respectable professions in some countries.

  • A simple way to look at the use of articles or determiners in front of count and non-count

  • nouns would be to talk about those that are ONLY used with count, those that are ONLY

  • use with non-count, and those that can be used with BOTH:

  • A Many

  • Few A few

  • Non-count: much Little

  • A little bit of Both: nothing

  • The Some

  • Any No

  • A lot of Lots of

  • Enough Plenty of

  • The count determiners are referring to specific numbers of items in both the singular and

  • plural sense: Is there a doctor in the building? (referring

  • toonedoctor) He had a few substantial reasons supporting

  • his stand. (referring to 2 or 3 reasons)

  • The non-count determiners refer to the whole or a part of the whole item being talked about:

  • Much of the furniture in this room is not comfortable. (referring to a good portion

  • of the furnituretables, chairs, etc.) The excellent student had little need for

  • advice on his paper. (referring to a small portion ofneed”)

  • Determiners that can be used for both offer a “safeway to talk about nounsespecially

  • if you are not sure which to use! Some research has been done in this area.

  • Some

  • studies have been done in this area.

  • He was offered no advice.

  • No textbooks were used in the class.

  • Let’s double check to see how youre doingConsider the nouns in the following sentences.

  • Decide whether they are countable things or non-count items.

  • Then add the plural endings IF NECESSARY. (Noteyou can always pause the video to

  • take more time to consider….)

  • Eggs and chickens arecountablethings in this sentence. We know we are talking about

  • the MANY eggs that the BIRDS produce in her yard.

  • Consider this sentence

  • Here, we are talking about the MEAT and the cooked grain because of the meal situation.

  • (NOTE: small grains such as rice, wheat, sugar, etc are most commonly considered so small

  • that we cannot count themthus, they are in the non-count category)

  • Here’s another

  • “A lot ofcan precede both count and non-count; however, here we understand the

  • writer is viewing individual trees, bushes and flowers outside his window.

  • Grass and dirt; however, are in that category of items that are considered uncountable because

  • of the impossible task of counting the individual blades of grass or the grains of dirt.

  • Now, let’s see how you do on choosing the determiners.

  • Choose one of the determiners that would modify thecountnoun or one that would modify

  • thenon-count noun from the list below to complete the sentence.

  • DO NOT use the determiners that could be used for both in the middle column (though these

  • would normally be easy to use)…we want to distinguish clearly between the count and

  • non-count nouns in this exercise

  • Note thattimeshas the plural “s” attached. This shows that it is clearlycountable.”

  • Try this one

  • Here, “timeisuncountableornoncount.” They are not talking about individualevents

  • but a length or duration of the larger sense oftime.”

  • Here’s another

  • Here, “hopeis referring to anabstractionor a “qualitywhich is uncountable

  • Here is one more….

  • In this case, “countryrefers to a “particularcountry that is not specifiedbut it is

  • only referring to one single country and is therefore a count noun.

  • In this video you have seen some of the differences betweencountandnon-countnouns.

  • That count nouns are generally referring to people, places and things

  • and that non-count nouns are referring to qualities, substances, processes and topics

  • We have talked about making sure to match the verb form for each: singular and plural

  • for count and singular for non-count. In addition, we looked at some of the determiners

  • that are specific to either count or non count nouns and those that can be used for both.

  • In the next video, we will be looking at groups of nouns that play both sides of the fenceor

  • that can be considered both count in some cases and non-count in others.

  • Happy counting! (…or not!)

Welcome to this initial online video tutorial on the differences between, and the use of

Subtitles and vocabulary

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A2 US count referring countable plural singular uncountable

Count and Noncount Nouns (Part 1)

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    pao2ge posted on 2014/12/03
Video vocabulary