A a summary of the differences.

Count nouns

Count nouns are things which can be counted. That means that there can be more than one of them. Also, when a count noun is singular and indefinite, the article “a/an” is often used with it. (The real meaning of “a” is “one”.)

“There are two books on the table.”
“There is an elephant in my car.”

 

Non-count nouns

Non-count nouns (or uncounted nouns) are usually things which cannot be counted, such as rice or water. Non-count nouns have a singular form, but when they are indefinite, we either use the word “some” or nothing at all instead of an article.

“Could I have some water please?”
“I'd like rice with my steak.”

 

How to tell whether a noun is count or non-count

You can usually work out whether a noun is count or non-count by thinking about it. Count nouns are usually objects which can be counted. Non-count nouns are often substances (such as sand, water or rice) which cannot be easily counted, or they may be large abstract ideas such as “nature”, “space” or “entertainment”. Here are some more examples:

 

Count nouns:

  • pen
  • table
  • car
  • idea
  • answer
  • class
  • exam
  • shoe

 Non-count nouns:

  • education
  • intelligence
  • clothing
  • soap
  • air
  • cheese
  • grass
  • literature

Ažurirano (Utorak, 07 Travanj 2009 10:28)