Uncountable nouns (also called mass nouns or noncount nouns) cannot be counted, they are not treated as seperate objects.
Sugar is bad for you. I don't drink my tea with sugar.
Rice is good for you. I eat rice at least once a week. (Not I eat a rice.)
There is no plural form for an uncountable noun.
To make uncountable nouns countable add a counting word, such as a unit of measurement, or the general word piece. We use the form "a ....... of ......."
A bowl of rice.
A grain of sand.
A lump of sugar.
A glass of water.
A bottle of wine
You can use 'some' and 'any' with uncountable nouns.
I usually drink some wine with a meal.
You shouldn't add any water to a good single malt whisky.
I don't usually drink much coffee.
Little wine is undrinkable though.
A lot of wine is drunk in France.
No wine is drunk in Iran.
You can make most uncountable nouns countable by putting a countable expression in front of the noun.
- A piece of information.
- Three grains of sand.
- A pane of glass.
- 2 glasses of water.
You can also weigh or measure the noun.
- 10 litres of coffee.
- 2 kilos of sugar.
Mass nouns are slightly different. They refer to groups of specific things.
Tables, chairs, cupboards etc. are grouped under the mass noun furniture.
Plates, saucers, cups and bowls are grouped under the mass noun crockery.
Knives, forks, spoons etc. are grouped under the collective noun cutlery.
When you are travelling suitcases, bags etc. are grouped under the mass noun luggage / baggage.
!Remember - You cannot make uncountable nouns plural by adding -s, because they only have a singular
form. Uncountable nouns do not take the article a/an or a number in front of them.
Countable / Uncountable Lesson