NOUNS (COUNT / NONCOUNT)
Count (countable) nouns can be counted or numbered. Count nouns have singular and plural forms.
Noncount (uncountable) nouns cannot be counted or numbered and they do not have a plural form.
We can use a/an and the with singular count nouns We can use the and many with plural count nouns.
Do you have a pencil I can borrow?
I would like an apple.
He opened the window.
She watered the plants.
The farm had many pigs.
We can use much and the with noncount nouns. Much is usually only used in questions and negative statements. Much is rarely used with affirmative statements.
He doesn’t have much money.
The mail arrived an hour ago.
We can use some, any, no, and a lot of / lots of with both count and plural noncount nouns. Any is usually only used in questions and negative statements. Any is rarely used with affirmative statements.
Would you like some strawberries?
No, but I would love some juice.
Sorry, but we don’t have any juice.
I suppose you have no milk either.
Actually, we have a lot of milk.
So you have lots of milk and a lot of strawberries?
Do you have any blueberries?
Yes, we have lots of blueberries.
Then I’ll have a strawberry and blueberry smoothie.
Some nouns are count and noncount nouns with different meanings depending on whether they are count or noncount.
The woods are beautiful this time of year.
This house is made of wood.
Most noncount nouns can have a countable container included to make them act more like count nouns. Usually ‘of’ is added after the container.
Can you get me some milk?
Can you get me three cartons of milk?
In informal language sometimes the container is dropped from the sentence and the noncount noun is used as a count noun. This is often done when talking about food or drinks.
We’ll have two cups of coffee.
I’ll have two coffees. (We mean two cups of coffee.)
Nouns (count / noncount) questions
- How much water do you drink in a day?
- What kinds of food do you eat regularly?
- What did you order last time you went to a restaurant?
- Do you eat any special foods on New Year’s Day? If so, what do you eat?
- What are some of your favorite types of vegetables?
- What’s your favorite type of meat? Why is it better than other types?
- What would you like to grow if you had a garden?
- What types of ingredients go into your favorite dish?
- What are some unhealthy foods that you love?
- What spices do you use most when you cook?
- What do you usually order when you go to your favorite fast food restaurant?
- What do you eat when you go to watch a movie?
- Do you prefer eating utensils made from wood, metal, or plastic?
- What’s your favorite fruit? How much do you usually eat in one sitting?
- What drink do you like to have with meals?
- What kind of condiments do you use a lot? What types of food do you put them on?
- What do you eat when it’s cold outside?