In English grammar, some things are seen as whole or mass & they can’t be counted in numbers. Uncountable nouns can’t be separated & they usually take a singular verb.
For example, news. We can’t count news. We don’t say one news/ two news. The noun “news” can’t be counted using numbers. It can never be quantified with any number.
Here are types of uncountable nouns:
- Abstract nouns: love, happiness, motivation, advice, peace
- Liquids: water, coffee, milk, oil
- Gases: air, oxygen
- Subsentences: gold, cement
- wheather words: thunder, lightning, rain, snow
Here is a list of some common uncountable nouns:
Let’s look at some examples using uncountable nouns.
They are going to get some furniture for us.
We had pleasant weather last week.
Can you get rice next time you go shopping?
Note: There are some nouns with plural form only but they are uncountable nouns. We can’t use numbers with them.
I bought two pairs of pajamas.
I bought two pajamas.
To express one or more quantities of an uncountable noun, expressions such as a bit of, a piece of, are used.
John has shared a piece of information with me.
I don’t want to buy a very expensive piece of furniture.
I don’t have any piece of equipment to exercise.
John always gives some interesting information when he comes to see us.
My students have been working hard & have made a lot of progress.
Nouns that can be both countable & uncountable
There are many words that can be both countable & uncountable. Especially food & drink items.
For example, let’s look at the word “room” which has two meanings. If it is about a room in a house it is countable but if it is related to space it is uncountable. There isn’t much room in this place.
Always use a good dictionary to know whether a noun is countable or uncountable.