A countable noun (e.g ship) can be singular or plural. We can count ships. We can say a ship/one ship or two ships.
Here are some examples of countable nouns. We could see a ship in the distance. Claire has only got one sister. I've got a problem with the car. Do you like these photos? I'm going out for five minutes.
An uncountable noun (e.g. water) is neither singular nor plural. We cannot count water. We can say water or some water but not a water or two waters.
Here are some examples of uncountable nouns. Can I have some water? Shall we sit on the grass? The money is quite safe. I love music. Would you like some butter?
Nouns after the, a/an and numbers
There are some words that go with both countable and uncountable nouns. One of these is the.
We can say the ship (singular), the ships (plural) or the water (uncountable). But other words go with one
kind of noun but not with the other.
A/an or one goes only with a singular noun.
I need a spoon. Numbers above one go only with plural nouns.
We eat three meals a dav.
We do not use a/an with an uncountable noun.
not a WATER and not a-music. We do not use numbers with an uncountable noun. not three feeds
C Nouns after some, many/much, etc
Some and any go with plural or uncountable nouns. We can also use plural and uncountable nouns on
their own, without some or any.
Tom told some jokes. Do you know any jokes? Tom usually tells jokes. But not He told joke.
Many and a few go only with plural nouns. There weren't many bottles. I made a few sandwiches.
We had some fun. That won't be any fun. We always have fun.
Much and a little go with uncountable nouns. I don't drink much wine. There was only a little bread left.
79 Agreement 85 A/an, one and some 95 Many and much
1 What is the difference? (A)
Look at the underlined nouns. Are they are countable or uncountable?
? There was a car behind us. countable 4 Love makes the world go round.
? I never eat meat. uncountable 5 Good luck in your new job.
1 Do you play golf? 6 Power stations produce energy.
2 I had to wait ten minutes. 7 I'm taking a photo.
3 Just tell me one thing. 8 Would you like an apple?
2 A and some (B-C)
Laura has been to the supermarket. What has she bought? Use a or some with these words: banana, biscuits, butter, cheese, eggs, flowers, lemon, light bulb, mineral water, magazine, soap, wine