myQBook Grammar Concept



Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Another classification of nouns is countable and uncountable nouns.

Countable nouns are the nouns that we can count.

For example: book, pen, apple, boy

We can count each of the above nouns. There can be five books, three pens, one apple, etc.

 

Uncountable nouns are nouns that we cannot count.

For example: milk, oil, sugar, honesty, gold.

While we may be able to measure uncountable nouns in certain ways (gallons of milk, milliliters of oil, spoons of sugar, etc.), we can’t count them directly. We can’t say five milks, three oils, one sugar, etc.

NOTE: Countable nouns can be singular or plural while uncountable nouns are always singular.

For example, consider the following sentence.

The milk that is left in the carton should be put back in the refrigerator.

In the above sentence, “milk” is an uncountable noun, and “carton” and “refrigerator” are countable nouns.

Students often make mistakes on subject-verb agreement when working with uncountable nouns. For example, consider the following sentence:

The information collected by undercover agents are invaluable and cannot be compromised under any circumstances.

Can you spot the error in this sentence? The subject of the above sentence is “information”. The verb of the sentence is “are”. However, since “information” is an uncountable noun, it is always singular and requires a singular verb. Therefore, the plural verb “are” is incorrect. The correct form of the sentence should be:

The information collected by undercover agents is invaluable and cannot be compromised under any circumstances.

 





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Proper and Common Nouns

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