FH-Ref-nouns (non)-countables

Hi there,

nice to have you here.

Today we are going to talk about nouns.

At the end there is a little test, which will show you, what you have learnt about countable and uncountable nouns and about the plural forms of nouns.

I hope you'll like it. If you have any questions, just send me a short mail.

Regards

 

Countable Nouns

Basics

Countable Nouns

Countable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count.

So, whenever you can say ...

... one ~, two ~, three ~, thousand ~,

the noun you are using is countable.

Examples

  • dog, cat, animal, man, girl
  • bottle, box, bag, envelope
  • coin, dollar, banknote, credit card
  • cup, plate, knife, fork
  • table, chair, wardrobe, suitcase

singular and plural

singular/plural

My brother is nice.

My brothers are at school.

indefinite article

We can use an indefinite article with countable nouns:

I have got a brother.

Have you got an animal?


Countable nouns in the singular ...

... always need an article or a pronoun (my; this ...) with it:


some / any

We can use some or any with countable nouns:

  • I've got some interesting books.
  • Have you got any comics?

a few / many

We can use a few or many with countable nouns:

  • I've got a few books.
  • I've got many comics.



people

The word "people" is countable. It is the plural of "person".

  • one person
  • two people
  • many people

irregular plural

The usual way to express a plural is to add an "s":

  • book           - books
  • day              - days
  • house         - houses

Some nouns take "es" to form the plural.

after a sibilant (s, x, sh, z) and after "o".

  • box            - boxes
  • bus            - buses
  • potato      - potatoes

BUT:

  • radio         - radios
  • piano        - pianos

Nouns ending in "f" or consonant+"y"

life            - lives

knife        - knives

thief         - thieves

          ---------

country   - countries

lady          - ladies


some / any

We can use some or any with countable nouns:

  • I've got some interesting books.
  • Have you got any comics?

a few / many

We can use a few or many with countable nouns:

  • I've got a few books.
  • I've got many comics.



people

The word "people" is countable. It is the plural of "person".

  • one person
  • two people
  • many people

irregular forms

A few plural forms are really irregular:

man - men; woman - women; child - children; person - people; foot - feet; tooth - teeth

And some are the same in singular and plural:

aircraft, series, fish, sheep, food

Uncountable Nouns

Basics

Uncountable nouns ...

... are substances or concepts etc. that we cannot divide into separate elements.

EXAMPLE:

You cannot count milk. You can only count it when using a certain measuring unit like litre or bottle.

Drinks

Drinks

... like coffee, water, orange juice, milk, beer etc. are usually uncountable. But in certain situations, when it is clear what you mean, you can say:

  • Two beers (pints of beer), please. (To a waiter in a bar.)
  • Two teas and three coffees, please. (in a caf√©)
  • Yesterday we were in a nice restaurant. I had three wines (glasses of wine) along with my dinner.

partitive structure

To count or quantify an uncountable noun we use a unit of measurement - a measure word. For example you cannot say two breads, because "bread" is uncountable. So when we want to make clear, that we are talking about a certain amount of "bread" we need a measure word like loaf or slice

quantity

measure word

"of"

uncountable noun

two

three

four

a

a

a

two

a

three

slices

bottles

pieces

bar

piece

sheet

tins

jar

tubes

of

bread

beer

furniture

chocolate

advice

paper

soup

jam

toothpaste

 

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

countable or uncountable

 

Some nouns have a different in singular and plural:

 

countable

noun

uncountable

There are two hairs in my soup. hair This old man hasn't got much hair.
There are two lights in my room. light It's too dark. We must switch on the light.
There are many noises when you go through the forest by night. noise I can't concentrate when there is so much noise.
Have you read the paper, yet. (=newspaper) paper I need some paper to make a drawing.
Our house has seven rooms. room There is not enough room for another table.
How many times have I told you to "no"? time Have you got time for a cup of coffee?
Macbeth is one of shakespeare's greatest works. work I like my work.
I have 6 chickens in my garden. (=animals) chicken I like chicken very much. (=food)
Those exercises very really easy. (=tasks) exercise Do you do much exercise every day? (=physical action)
I had some great experiences in my holidays. (=things that happened to me) experience Experience is more important than theoretical knowledge. (=what you have learned by doing it)

 

singular or plural verb?

noun + verb

Some nouns just look like a plural form.

athletics, economics, gymnastics, politics, maths, physics, news

  • Today's news is very exciting.
  • Maths is my best subject.

Nouns describing two parts:

jeans, pants, pyjamas, shorts, tights, trousers, glasses, scissors, pliers

  • My jeans are too tight.
  • My glasses are broken.

You can use "pair of" in front of the noun if you want:

  • I need a new pair of jeans.


Nouns describing groups of people:

You can use either singular or plural verbs, when we talk about the people in the group:

  • The British team is / are playing very well.

But we only use the singular when we think of the group as one thing:

  • A football team has 11 players.

exercises

exercise 1

Bring the fitting parts together by drag&drop.
  • a piece of
    cake
  • a packet of
    cigarettes
  • a bar of
    chocolate
  • a pint of
    beer
  • a couple of
    hours
  • a slice of
    bread
  • a game of
    bowls
  • a jar of
    jam

Gaps 1

The staff  on holiday.

Gaps 2

The audience  requested to be quiet.

Gaps 3

The class  just writing a test.

Gaps 4

The homework  really easy.

Gaps 5

This information  written in today's paper.

gaps 6

Your jeans  torn.

gaps 7

The binoculars  to my dad.

gaps 8

The choir  just singing my favourite song.

gaps 9

Your shorts  already in the suitcase.

gaps 10

This group  of 13 members.

exercise 2

singular

plural

shop
bush
bookshelf
company
wife
   
   

 

exercise 3

singular

plural

child
tomato  
gentleman  
foot  
family  
   
   

 

exercise 3

singular

plural

donkey  
toy   
ferry  
video  
potato  
   
   

 

exercise 4

1 She has two young  so she's always tired!

exercise 5

2 The police  questions about the bank robbery.

exercise 6

Do you have suitable  for this job?

exercise 7

There was an interesting  on the radio this morning.

exercise 8

Living in  city can be expensive.

repetition

video 1

 

 

video 2

 

 

the end

‚ÄčThat's it for today.

I hope you could learn a bit or perhaps you can now remember what you had already learnt. That would be very good.

I would be glad if you liked working like that, so please let me know. Send a short mail and tell me your opinion. I am looking forward to your feedback.

See you!