English Grammar Basic Grammar and syntax

What are uncountable (uncountable) nouns? (with examples)

What are uncountable (uncountable) nouns? (with examples)

An uncountable noun (or mass noun as it is also known) is a noun without a plural form.

Uncountable nouns refer to things that cannot be counted.

Examples of Non-Countable Nouns

These are some examples of uncountable nouns:

Non-countable Noun An Attempt At Making It Plural
music five musics
furniture five furnitures
tennis five tennises
mercury five mercuries

Los sustantivos no contables son singulares.

Examples of Non-countable (Noncount) Nouns

Uncountable nouns typically fall into one of the following categories:

Category Example
Concept bravery, honesty, information, intelligence, patience
Activity homework, playing, reading, sleeping
Food bread, butter, cheese, fish, milk
Gas air, helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, smoke
Liquid coffee, petrol, water, wine, beer
Material chalk, cloth, concrete, lumber, wood, metal
Item Category clothing, furniture, luggage, mail, money, software
Natural Phenomenon gravity, heat, humidity, rain, snow, sunshine, thunder
Particles dust, flour, rice, salt, sugar

Non-countable Nouns Contrast with Countable Nouns

Los sustantivos no contables contrastan con los sustantivos contables, que se pueden pluralizar. Estos son algunos ejemplos de sustantivos contables:

  • apple, bear, cup, dog, ear, flower, giant, house, island
    (Note that these all have plural forms, e.g.,“apples,““bears,““cups.“)

Some Nouns Can Be Countable or Non-countable

Generally, uncountable nouns cannot be pluralized. However, some can be pluralized when talking about categories of that noun. This is most common with non-count nouns in the food and liquid categories. For example:

  • France is famous for its cheeses.
    (Categories of cheese)
  • There are many fine wines from Chile.
    (Categories of wine)

Why Should I Care about Non-countable Nouns?

Aquí hay dos problemas notables asociados con los sustantivos no contables.

(Issue 1) Making Non-countable Nouns Plural

There are two methods to pluralize a concept expressed by an uncountable noun:

Method 1: Precede it with a [countable noun] +“of.“
For example:

  • five loaves of bread
    (“Loaves“is the countable noun.)
  • five blocks of cheese
    (“Blocks“is the countable noun.)

Method 2: Make the non-countable noun an adjective to a countable noun.
For example:

  • five bread loaves
  • five cheese blocks

(Issue 2) Using the Right Quantifier with a Non-Countable Noun

Usa“amount of“with an uncountable noun. The terms“amount of“y“number of“They are used with countable nouns. For example:

  • Amount of sunshine ✔️
  • Quantity of wood ❌

Key Point

  • ¿Usas un sustantivo no contable? Usa“amount of“.

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