Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Count nouns are nouns that you can make plural. Noncount nouns are nouns that you cannot make

  • plural.

  • So which nouns are count, and which nouns are noncount? This point of grammar can be

  • difficult for English language learners. There are no consistent rules that guarantee whether

  • a noun is count or noncount. Many noun forms must simply be memorized. And you may need

  • to check a dictionary to make sure that you can make a certain noun plural.

  • Several videos during Week 4 and Week 5 of this unit will focus on using nouns.

  • For now, consider some guidelines that can help you to know which nouns are count and

  • which nouns are non-count.

  • First, consider the name. Think about the word count. We call nouns that can be made

  • plural count nouns because you can count them: one ring, two rings, three rings, and so forth.

  • The other nouns, noncount nouns, are nouns that you cannot count. Every baker bakes with

  • flour. But you cannot measure flour by saying one flour, two flours, and so forth. There

  • is a different way of measuring noncount nouns, and I'll talk about that in another lesson,

  • but you cannot make noncount nouns plural.

  • Second, there are certain categories of nouns that are usually noncount. These nouns are

  • not always noncount, but they usually are.

  • One category is materials--in other words, what things are made out of. Glass, plastic,

  • metal, and wood are examples. When these words represent materials, they are noncount. Do

  • not add s to these words when they refer to the material that makes up a product.

  • Another category is food. Now, some nouns for food are count, and some are noncount.

  • There are certain kinds of food that have units that you can count. One carrot, two

  • carrots, three carrots, and so forth. Other kinds are noncount and do not have individual

  • units: flour, milk, cheese, meat, and so forth.

  • Another category is abstract nouns. These are nouns that you cannot see, but they're

  • still real: commitment, adventure, information, knowledge, and so forth.

  • Third, noncount nouns often refer to a category of several count nouns. Consider these count

  • nouns: nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars. What noncount noun do we use to refer to all

  • of these? That's right: money. Consider these count nouns: tables, chairs. What noncount

  • noun can refer to both of these? Tables and chairs are examples of furniture. Consider

  • these count nouns: seconds, minutes, hours. What noncount noun can refer to all of these?

  • The category is time.

  • The best advice that I can give you to identify count and noncount nouns is this: keep communicating.

  • As you read and listen, you will see and hear accurate uses of these nouns. As you speak

  • and write, you will get practice with choosing and using the correct forms.

  • During Week 4 and Week 5 of this unit, you can watch videos to learn more about nouns.

  • The topics will include forming plural nouns, forming possessive nouns, using nouns as adjectives,

  • practicing with count and noncount nouns, and using expressions of quantity for count

  • and non-count nouns.

  • Now, I want to hear from you. Identifying count and noncount nouns can be difficult.

  • I have given you some general categories that can help, but I wonder what other methods

  • help English learners to identify count and non-count nouns. What strategies do you follow

  • for identifying count and noncount nouns? Add a comment below this video to join the

  • discussion.

Count nouns are nouns that you can make plural. Noncount nouns are nouns that you cannot make

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it