Count and Non-Count Nouns

TWO KINDS OF NOUNS

There are two kinds of nouns in English:

– Countable Nouns – objects seen as separate things (book, apple, cup)

– Non-Countable Nouns – objects seen as one thing (clothing, water, air)

INDEFINITE ARTICLES WITH SINGULAR COUNT NOUNS

Count nouns can be singular or plural.

a an
a flower

a book

a car

an hour

an orange

an elephant

A is used before a word starting with a consonant sound. An is used before a word starting with a vowel sound.

SPELLING OF REGULAR PLURAL COUNT NOUNS

Plural count nouns can be regular or irregular. Add -s to most regular count nouns. Do not use a or an before a plural noun.

If the nouns ends in:
consonant + y change y to i, add -es city – cities
ferry – ferries
consonant + o add -es potato – potatoes
tomato – tomatoes
fe or f change f to v, add -es life – lives
knife – knives
sh, ch, ss, x, z add -es class – classes
watch – watches

IRREGULAR PLURAL NOUNS

Some nouns use s for the plural. They are called irregular

– Some irregular nouns change spelling.

child – children man – men woman – women person – people foot – feet

tooth – teeth foot – feet goose – geese hippopotamus – hippopotami

– Some irregular nouns do not change spelling

a deer – two deer a sheep – two sheep a fish – two fish a moose -two moose

NON-COUNT NOUNS

Count Nouns Non-Count Nouns
– can be used with a / an

This is a book.

That is an elephant.

– cannot be used with a / an or one

Moose live in Canada.

– can be plural
He has two cars.
– cannot be plural
She has information.
– can be used with singular or plural verbs

This watch is expensive.

These watches are expensive.

– are always used with singular verbs.

Housing is expensive in Indonesia.