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Elementary Level - Countable and Non-countable Nouns

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Count nouns are nouns that can have one or more than one.
A pen – three pens, a bottle – six bottles, a television – three televisions, a car – five cars.

Count nouns can be used with;
A few, few, many, some, every, each, these etc.
A few pens, many bottles, a few cars, each television etc.

Count nouns can be used with a/an or the
There is a pen on my desk.
I bought a bottle of Italian wine.
Each television in the flat was a new model.
My family has five cars.

Non-countable Nouns

Non-count nouns cannot be counted. They name a liquid, gas or grains, or they name a group or a type.
Water, wood, ice, air, rice, money, English, traffic, furniture, meat etc.

If you use a non-count noun in a general way then they cannot have a plural.
Non-count nouns can be used with a/an or the when they are used in the right context.
Rice is good for you.
The water is beautiful.
I drink beer.
The wood is from Sweden.

Non-count nouns can be used with expressions like – some, any, enough, this, that, much etc.
We had some good wine.
There might be some rain today.
This milk is bad.
He does not have much time.
There was heavy traffic this morning.

Non-count nouns cannot be used with – these, those, every, each, either or neither.

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

Now choose the correct word for the following:

  • 1. We had _ Italian wine for lunch.

  • 2. The milk _ in the fridge.

  • 3. I bought _ different books today.

  • 4. Can we have _ rice please?

  • 5. There are too _ cars in the city.