Nouns can be split into two different groups – countable and uncountable. (see Countable and uncountable nouns for more information)
Countable nouns, as the name suggests, can be counted. For example, you can have 1 pen or 2 pens, a car or some or a lot of cars.
However, uncountable nouns cannot be counted. For example, you cannot have 2 advices or some ora lot of advices.
However, there are two ways to make an uncountable noun countable.
How to make an uncountable noun countable method 1
Add a countable ‘container’ for the uncountable noun.
For example, milk is uncountable but bottles of milk can be counted. You can say a bottle of milk, 2 bottles of milk etc.
How to make an uncountable noun countable method 2
Use a countable form of the word.
For example, work is uncountable, but job is countable.
The table below shows more examples of how to make uncountable nouns countable.
|Advice||A piece of advice – pieces of advice|
|Luggage||A suitcase, a bag or a piece of luggage – suitcases, bags or pieces of luggage|
|money||a note, a coin – notes, coins|
|cake||a slice of cake, a piece of cake – slices or pieces of cake|
|furniture||a table, a chair, a piece of furniture – tables, chairs, pieces of furniture|
|bread||a slice of bread, a loaf of bread, a piece of bread – slices, loaves, pieces of bread|
|knowledge||a fact – facts|
|travel||a journey, a trip – journeys, trips|
|toothpaste||a tube of toothpaste – tubes of toothpaste|
|wine||a bottle of wine, a glass of wine – bottles of or glasses of wine|
|butter||a pat of butter – pats of butter|
|cheese||a slice of cheese, a chunk of cheese, a piece of cheese – slices, chunks or pieces of cheese|
|sugar||a sugarcube, a spoonful of sugar, a bowl of sugar – sugarcubes, spoonfuls of sugar, bowls of sugar|
|Petrol (gas)||a litre of petrol – litres of petrol.|
|Salt||a pinch of salt – pinches of salt|
|soap||a bar of soap – bars of soap|
|hair||a strand of hair – strands of hair|
|glass||a sheet of glass, a pane of glass – sheets or panes of glass|
Have you tried the countable and uncountable nouns exercises?