Countable and Uncountable Nouns

In English grammar there are 2 types of nouns:

  • Countable nouns (substantive numarabile)
  • Uncountable nouns (substantive nenumarabile)

Countable nouns refer to the nouns which can be counted.

They have both singular and plural form.

(Substantivele numarabile se refera la acele substantive care pot fi numarate, acestea au forma de singular si plural).

 

Here are some examples of singular and plural nouns:

Iata cateva exemple:

 

Singular

Plural

one flower

two flowers

one cup of tea

two cups of tea

one house

two houses

one chair

two chairs

one baby

two babies

one story

two stories

one horse

two horses

 

Uncountable nouns refer to those things that can’t be counted. They don’t have a plural form, we use them with a singular verb.

To express quantity we can use units of measurement:

 a cup of, a bag of, 1 kilo of, a jar of, a spoon of, a handful of, a pinch of, a piece of, a glass of, a bottle of, a loaf of, a slice of

(Substantivele nenumarabile se refera la acele lucruri care nu pot fi numarate. Acestea nu au forma de plural, iar verbul se foloseste la singular. Le putem folosi cu unitati de masura).

Examples:

  • sugar     I want some sugar in my coffee, please.
  • tea     Can you bring me a cup of tea?
  • news     The news is great, when do you get married?
  • money I don’t have any money for holiday.
  • fish      Bring me a kilo of fish, please.
  • milk     She forgot to buy a carton of milk for lunch.
  • oil       We ran out of oil. Can you buy a bottle?
  • cake    I want 2 pieces of cake if it is possible.         
  • wine
  • water
  • flour, salt, rice, sand, pepper....
  • butter, meat, cheese, cream, youghurt, jam,honey, confiture...
  • advice,  information, research
  • deer, sheep.

We can also talk about regular and irregular nouns.  It is important to understand the difference between them.

  • For regular nouns the plural is formed by adding –s, -es, -ies, -ves to the noun.

Examples with „–s”:  

  • book = books
  • angel = angels
  • kid = kids

      Examples with „-es”: when a word ends in -s, -z, -x, -ch, -sh, -o

  • wish = wishes
  • match = matches
  • kiss = kisses

      Examples with „-ies”:  - „y” after a consonant sound becomes „i”

  • party = parties
  • lady = ladies
  • story = stories

Examples with „-ves”: when a word ends in  -f, -fe, f becomes v + es

  • life = lives
  • wife = wives
  • wolf = wolves
  • knife = knives

Irregular nouns form the plural without following any rules, we have to learn them as they are.

Examples:

  • man = men
  • woman = women
  • person = people
  • mouse = mice
  • tooth = teeth

We suggest you to complete the following exercises to practice what you have learnt today:

  1. Circle the correct answer.

a. John, buy some fish / fishes, please!

b. The news about earthquake is / are terrible.

c. My father gave me advices / a great deal of advice before my first interview.

d. How many cat / cats do you have?

e. My house is full of mouse / mice!

f. The story / stories are very interesting.

g. Can you buy a loaf of bread / breads for dinner?

h. She did researches / a lot of research about healthy food.

 

  1. Complete by using the plural of the words in brakets.

1, I have two ………… and 3 ……… (dog, cat)

2. I do …………… every day for my degree. (research)

3. Give me ……………... about your last job, please. (information)

4. No, they are not ………., they are ………. (dog, wolf)

5. All my ……….. are cold because of the bad weather. (child)

6. Our car was broken so we had to walk by ……… (foot)

Raspunsuri:

  1. a. some fish, b. is, c. a great deal of advice, d. cats, e. mice, f. stories, g. a loaf of bread, h. a lot of research
  2. 1. dogs, cats, 2. a lot of research, 3, more/some information, 4. dogs, wolves, 5. children, 6. feet.

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