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AN INTERACTIVE LESSON ON COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

AN INTERACTIVE LESSON ON COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

BY ROE S. RIOFRIO

A COMPLETE PACKAGE

 

It is advisable that you need to read the discussion first before you take the quiz for you to have a better understanding of the topic.

Countable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count. For example: "pen". We can count pens. We can have one, two, three or more pens. Here are some more countable nouns:

 

  • dog, cat, animal, man, person
  • bottle, box, litre
  • coin, note, dollar
  • cup, plate, fork
  • table, chair, suitcase, bag

Countable nouns can be singular or plural:

  • My dog is playing.
  • My dogs are hungry.

We can use the indefinite article a/an with countable nouns:

  • Adog is an animal.

When a countable noun is singular, we must use a word like a/the/my/this with it:

  • I want an orange. (not I want orange.)
  • Where is my bottle? (not Where is bottle?)

When a countable noun is plural, we can use it alone:

  • I like oranges.
  • Bottles can break.

We can use some and any with countable nouns:

  • I've got some dollars.
  • Have you got any pens?

We can use a few and many with countable nouns:

  • I've got a few dollars.
  • I haven't got many pens.

"People" is countable. "People" is the plural of "person". We can count people:

  • There is one person here.
  • There are three people here.

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable nouns are substances, concepts etc that we cannot divide into separate elements. We cannot "count" them. For example, we cannot count "milk". We can count "bottles of milk" or "litres of milk", but we cannot count "milk" itself. Here are some more uncountable nouns:

  • music, art, love, happiness
  • advice, information, news
  • furniture, luggage
  • rice, sugar, butter, water
  • electricity, gas, power
  • money, currency

We usually treat uncountable nouns as singular. We use a singular verb. For example:

  • Thisnews is very important.
  • Your luggage looks heavy.

We do not usually use the indefinite article a/an with uncountable nouns. We cannot say "an information" or "a music". But we can say a something of:

  • a piece ofnews
  • a bottle ofwater
  • a grain ofrice

We can use some and any with uncountable nouns:

  • I've got some money.
  • Have you got any rice?

We can use a little and much with uncountable nouns:

  • I've got a little money.
  • I haven't got much rice.

Uncountable nouns are also called "mass nouns".

Here are some more examples of countable and uncountable nouns:

Countable

Uncountable

dollar

money

song

music

suitcase

luggage

table

furniture

battery

electricity

bottle

wine

report

information

tip

advice

journey

travel

job

work

view

scenery

When you learn a new word, it's a good idea to learn whether it's countable or uncountable.

Nouns that can be Countable and Uncountable

Sometimes, the same noun can be countable and uncountable, often with a change of meaning.

Countable


Uncountable

There are two hairs in my coffee!

hair

I don't have much hair.

There are two lights in our bedroom.

light

Close the curtain. There's too much light!

Shhhhh! I thought I heard a noise.
There are so many different noises in the city.

noise

It's difficult to work when there is so much noise.

Have you got a paper to read? (newspaper)
Hand me those student papers.

paper

I want to draw a picture. Have you got some paper?

Our house has seven rooms.

room

Is there room for me to sit here?

We had a great time at the party.
How many times have I told you no?

time

Have you got time for a cup of coffee?

Macbethis one of Shakespeare's greatest works.

work

I have no money. I need work!

Drinks (coffee, water, orange juice) are usually uncountable. But if we are thinking of a cup or a glass, we can say (in a restaurant, for example):

  • Two teas and one coffee please.


Partitive Structure with Uncountable Nouns

To count or quantify an uncountable noun we use a unit of measurement - a measure word. For example, we cannot usually say “two breads” because “bread” is uncountable. So, if we want to specify a quantity of bread we use a measure word such as “loaf” or “slice” in a structure like “two loaves of bread” or “two slices of bread”. We call this structure a partitive structure.

p a r t i t i v e   s t r u c t u r e

quantity

measure word
(partitive, countable noun)

"of"

uncountable noun

two cups of coffee
several games of tennis
a drop of water

We can use the same uncountable noun in different partitive expressions with different meanings. For example, a loaf of bread and a slice of bread are partitive expressions with different meanings. A loaf of bread is what we call a whole unit of bread that we buy from a baker. A slice of bread is what we call a smaller unit of bread after it has been cut from a loaf. 

Here are some more examples:

  • Don't forget to buy a bag of rice when you go shopping.
  • Can I have one cup of coffee and two cups of tea.
  • The police found some items of clothing scattered around the floor.
  • I need a truck that will take at least three pieces of furniture.
  • You'd think a tablespoon of honey would be more than enough.

The word "partitive" indicates that only "part" of a whole is being referred to. The partitive structure using a measure word is common with uncountable nouns, but it can also be used with countable nouns, for example: a series of accidents, two boxes of matches, a can of worms.

You are now going to watch a video discussion of the topic before you can take the quiz.

 

You are now ready to take the test. Good luck!

Whether you use this reviewer or not as your key to pass the exam, the most important thing you need to do before taking any examinations is to prepare yourself, be healthy and study harder beforehand.  Yes, you can always rely on your schema but as the lines says, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” Thank you very much!

 

Something about the Author: Mr. Roe S. Riofriohas been teaching at Mandaluyong High School since November 2009. He teaches English to Grade 7 students. He is also currently taking his Masters Degree in Instructional Technology at Rizal Technological University, Mandaluyong. He would also like to thank his Professor in Advance Instructional Techmology, Prof. Jensen dg. Mañebog and his classmates for the support and motivation for him to finish this online reviewer. May God bless us always!

Note: If this quiz is assigned to you by your teacher (or school), 'print screen' and print your score/result after taking this exam/reviewer, and submit it to your school authority.

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Tag: AN INTERACTIVE QUIZ ON COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS.

Roe S. Riofrio

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