Unit 6.1

Uncountable Nouns

Nouns

Nouns refer to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality.

Uncountable nouns are nouns which cannot be counted easily or what we refer to as a mass {see Countable and Uncountable Nouns, A1 level}.

Uncountable nouns refer to things we consider as a mass and not as separate objects. We have three types of uncountable nouns:

  • With only singular form: advicebaggageenergy, hairhomeworkinformationmoney…;
  • With only plural form: clothesgroceriesnewsregardsthanks…;
  • Nouns that can be both countable and uncountable:
    • Depending on the context:  a type ofa kind of…;
    • Materials and liquids: coffee, glasspaperwater…;
    • Abstract nouns: lifetime…

Only singular uncountable nouns

  • My baggage is so heavy because of the camera in it!
  • Her energy as a salsa dancer is incredible!
  • Their money was not enough to buy the painting.

Only plural uncountable nouns

  • Could you get the groceries?
  • He told me some news about your journey.
  • We send our thanks to the director.

Both uncountable and countable uses

  • Can I borrow some coffee? / Shall I get a coffee (= a cup of coffee)?
  • She has a lot of glass bowls. / Does she want a glass of coke?
  • I need more time. / I miss the times of my internship ( = a specific period).

We use uncountable nouns to refer to things we consider as a mass and not as separate objects (abstract ideas, substances, materials, gases and liquids).

There are nouns that can be both countable and uncountable:

  • They are uncountable when referring to a general meaning;
  • They are countable when referring to a specific thing or meaning.

Uncountable nouns refer to things we consider as a mass and not as separate objects. We have three types of uncountable nouns:

  • Only singular uncountable nouns: advice, baggage, energy, hair, homework, information, money
  • Only plural uncountable nouns: clothes, groceries, news, regards, thanks
  • Both uncountable and countable uses: a type of…, a kind of…; coffee, glass, paper, water… (materials and liquids); lifetime… (abstract nouns).

For example:
— “I don´t have energy for another trip.” = Energy has only singular uncountable form.
— “I will tell you later the news of today.” = News has only plural uncountable form.
— “Can I have some coffee?” / “Can I have a coffee?“= Coffee refers to coffee as a powder (singular uncountable), and a coffee has the implicit meaning of a cup of coffee (singular countable).

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. And take a look to the {Example} that show its use within a context.

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