Countable nouns (also called count nouns) are nouns that can be counted (apple, orange) and can be therefore be pluralized (apples, oranges). Uncountable nouns (also known as non-count or mass nouns) are amounts of something, which we cannot count (gunpowder, rice).
So how do we know whether a noun is countable or uncountable?
- I own a car. / I play with an ostrich.
- She has many friends. (Not: She has much friends.)
- I have five uncles. You have two grandmothers.
an owl / some owls / fifty owls
if a/an is not normally used in front of it.
- He is eating some rice. (Not: He is eating a rice.) Rice is an uncountable noun, so some (which can be used for both countable and uncountable nouns) is used with it.
- How much glue do we need? (Not: How many glue do we need?)
- I have just bought two cartons or litres/liters of milk. (Not: I have just bought two milk.)
some ice (Not: some ices) / some ink (Not: some inks) / some soup (Not: some soups)
Some nouns can be countable or uncountable. It depends on how they are used.
Countable and Uncountable Nouns are used with the following:a
|Countable Noun||Uncountable Noun|
|a, an, a few, several, many, some,||a little, much, some,|
|plenty of, a lot of, a large number of||plenty of, a lot of, a large amount of, a great deal of|