How to use Count and Noncount Nouns - Grammar


  1. Singular count noun: Pen 

  • General: Use a or an: I need a pen.

a pen (general)

  • Specific: Use the: The pen you gave me is beautiful.

the pen (specific)

        2. Plural count noun: Pens

  • General: Don't use an article: Pens (general)

Pens are important for school work.

  • Specific: Use the: The pens (specific)

The pens (that) you gave me are beautiful.

        3. Non-count noun: Advice

  • General: Don't use an article: advice (general)

Advice is important in business.

  • Specific: Use the: The advice (specific)

The advice that you gave me is helpful.

Many: count

  • There are many students in the class.
  • Sarah doesn't have many friends.
  • How many people live in Orlando?
Much: non-count
  • I don't have much money.
  • How much time do you have?
A few: count
  • Sam made a few errors on his homework.
A little: non-count
  • I drank a little coffee to help me stay awake.
A lot of: count
  • For this cake, you need a lot of eggs.
A lot of: non-count
  • Students often use a lot of paper.
Some: count
  • The advisor gave me some suggestions.
Some: non-count
  • The advisor gave me some advice.
Count Nouns:

  • Count nouns are people, places, or things that we can count. It is possible to make count nouns plural.
  1. a book - books
  2. an assignment - assignments 
  3. an hour - hours 
  4. an umbrella - umbrellas
  5. a table - tables
  6. an egg - eggs
  7. a hospital - hospitals
  8. a university - universities
Non-count Nouns:

  • Non-count nouns cannot be counted. They cannot be made plural.

Furniture - happiness - flour - work/homework - jewelry - love - sand - advice - mail - health - water - rain.

Nouns that are count or Non-Count:

  • Some nouns are count some of the time and non-count some of the time.

  1. May I have a glass of water? (count - singular)
  2. The teacher wears glasses. (count -plural)
  3. The glass in the window is dirty. (non-count)