Countable and Uncountable Noun

Published on 29-Jun-2022

Countable and Uncountable Noun

Countable nouns are names for things, people, and other things that can be counted.

Pen, pencil, book, boy, sister, girl, cow, tree, orange etc.

1. Singular and plural forms exist for countable nouns.





man girl horse


men girls horses


2. Countable nouns take both singular and plural verbs. 

The boy is playing singular noun + singular verb

The boys are playing. Plural noun + plural verb

Proper, common, and collective nouns are called countable nouns because they can be counted.

3. The words that are used before singular countable nouns are

a, an, the, every, each, either, neither, this, that, these, those, all, both, any, no, some, much, many, little, few, two, three, four, etc.


I have a garden.

She took an orange.

Beware of the dog.

He bought two pens.

All the students are present. 

4. The words used before plural countable nouns are: the all, some, these, those, both, few, a few, many, numeral, other, than, one (e.g. two, three, four, etc.)


I have a few friends.

All men must die.

He bought some oranges.

Uncountable Noun

Uncountable nouns: Uncountable nouns are the name of things that cannot be counted. 

Examples: sugar, milk, water, tea, rice, jute, etc. 

Features of uncountable nouns:

  • They always take a singular verb 
  • Before an uncountable noun, a/an is not used.
  • Determiners used before uncountable nouns are: little, much, no, any, some, etc. 


Example: I have a little rice.

List of Uncountable Noun

(a) Solid substances and materials: Paper, earth, cotton, nylon, bread, rice, etc.

(b) Liquids: Water, oil, tea, milk, ink, coffee.

(c) Gases: Oxygen, Hydrogen, steam, smoke, air.

(d) Language: Bangla, English, German, Spanish, etc.

(e)  Abstractions: equality, honesty, peace, safety, love, sympathy, courage, beauty, freedom, horror, pity, hope, mercy.

(f)  Diseases: Malaria, AIDS, dysentery, influenza,

(g) Games: Football, cricket, hockey, chess, tennis, volleyball.

(h)  Natural phenomena: Heat, electricity, sunshine, weather.

(i)  Academic disciplines: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography.

(j)  Small particles: Sand, rice, flour, salt.

(k)  Other intangibles: Information, work, knowledge, death, fear, belief, experience, news.

(1)  Verbal Nouns: Camping, cooking, clothing, trimming, blessing, helping, wedding. 

(m)  Other things: Baggage, luggage, furniture, hair, scenery.

Note: The word weather is uncountable.

Example: What wonderful weather is!

But in the case of fixed expression, the word weather has a plural form. So, it is countable.

Example: A postman goes out all weathers.

Climate is usually uncountable. But its countable form is:

What a beautiful climate!

Uncountable nouns can be made countable by using measure words. These measure words are related to a container, part, length, width, size, and weight.

(i) Any numeral or a/an+

(ii) a measure word related to an uncountable noun +

(ill) of +

(iv) the given uncountable noun.


Structure: Numeral or a/an+measure word+ of + uncountable noun.


a/an or numeral


measure word




uncountable noun


Portion-based measure words


three pieces a slice a sheet' a pinch a heap



furniture bread paper salt earth


Container-based measure words


a cup a glass, two bags, a bottle, a pot



tea water rice milk jam




Three yards six inches ten feet two miles



string rope water cable




a gallon three litres an ounce



water patrol syrup




two acres, three bighas




land land




two pounds ten kilos ten tons




butter rice wheat


Measure words relating to qualities and idea


an item a piece a piece a kind an attack a kind a blade




news advice information generosity fever justice grass


A list of some countable from uncountable.












a loaf




a garment





a laugh




a suitcase





a payment




a permit





a poem




a job








A list of countable nouns from uncountable in the form of sentences.






Houses were built of stone.


He threw a stone at me


We live in the age of science.


Mathematics is a science


Everybody wants success.


Your performance was a great success


All plants need light.


Dose he use a light beside your bed?


Have pity!


Please, have a pity on the small creature.


Shame on you!


What a shame!


Art is long


Painting is an art.


Please show honour to your elders


It is an honour for me to be here.






Many nouns can be counted and uncounted in the same sentence. In that case there is difference of meaning.

Danger -The boy is in danger (U). -She is a danger to society(C)


Cake - I prefer cake to bread.(U) -Give him a piece of cake (C)


Beauty - She had beauty even in her old age (U) -She is a beauty(C).


Noise-Mere noise will not please me (U) - We heard a noise (C).


Brick -The mosque is built of brick (U). -Some bricks were bought. (C)


Chicken -He likes soup of chicken (U)-He sold three chickens (C).

Words common in countable and uncountable nouns

'The' can be used for both countable, uncountable, singular, and plural nouns.


Bring the water.

The men are thirsty.

Have the boys finished the milk?

Some other words like; any, some, many, much can be used with plural or uncountable nouns.

Plural and uncountable nouns can also be used without using some, any.

Q Some nouns can be countable and uncountable depending on usage.

Example: If you drop the kerosene, it might catch fire, ('fire' in general)

They built a fire in their backyard, ('fire' at a particular place)

Q 'Many' and 'a few' go only with countable nouns.


Many people attended the meeting, (not 'much people')

I have only a few pencils left, (not 'a little pencils')

Q 'Much' and 'a little' go with uncountable nouns.


Much time has already been wasted, (not 'many time')

A little sugar is still left in the jar. _____


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