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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 Nouns – Countable & Uncountable, A1 level}.

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

  1. With only singular form: advice, baggage, energy, hair, homework, information, money…;
  2. With only plural form: clothes, groceries, news, regards, thanks…;
  3. Uncountable when referring to a general meaning and countable when referring to a specific thing or meaning: a type of, a kind of…, materials and liquids: glass, paper, coffee, water…, or abstract nouns: life, time
  1. 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.
  2. Only plural uncountable nouns
    • Could you get the groceries?
    • He told me some news about your journey.
    • We send our thanks to the director.
  3. Both uncountable and countable uses
    • She has a lot of glass bowls. / Does she want a glass of coke?
    • Can I borrow some coffee? / Shall I get a coffee (= a cup of coffee)?
    • I need more time. / I miss the times of my internship ( = a specific period).

Uncountable nouns usually refer to abstract ideas, substances, materials, gases and liquids.

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 noun: 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 have 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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