Nouns can be countable or uncountable. When you learn a new noun you should make a note of whether it is countable or uncountable as we use different words with countables and uncountables.
Countable nouns (count nouns):
Countable nouns have a singular and a plural form. In plural, these nouns can be used with a number- they can be counted. (That's why they are called "countable nouns").
1 friend, 2 friends, 3 friends...
1 book, 2 books, 3 books...
Countable nouns take many.
100 friends – many friends
For positive sentences we can use a/an or some (with a plural verb form)
- There isn’t a dog in the garden.
- There aren’t any birds in the tree.
For negatives we can use a/an or any (with a plural verb form).
- Is there an orange on the tree?
- Are there any chairs in the garden?
- How many chairs are there?
In questions we use a/an, any or how many.
Uncountable nouns (uncount / non-count nouns):
Uncountable nouns can only be used in singular. These nouns cannot be used with a number- they can't be counted. (That's why they are called "uncountable nouns").
I have a lot of money. (Not
You say I drink a lot of milk. (Not
Uncountable nouns take much.
Note: Of course you can count money, milk, meat; but then you would use the currency, liter, kilo, glass,...and say that you have got:
- 5 euros or dollars... (but not
- 2 liters, pints, glasses... of milk (but not
- 3 kilos... of meat (but not 3 meat)
- 10 bottles of mineral water... (but not
Uncountable nouns have no plural. The verb form is singular and we use some.
- Is there any sugar?
- How much wine is there?
In questions we can use any or how much.
Other expressions of quantity
- There are a lot of apples on the trees.
- There is a lot of snow on the road.
A lot of can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.
- Bill Gates has much money.
Notice that we don’t usually use ‘much’ or ‘many’ in positive sentences. We use ‘a lot of’.
- Bill Gates has a lot of money.
- There’s a lot of beer but there isn’t much wine.
- There are a lot of carrots but there aren’t many potatoes.
We use not many with countable nouns and not much with uncountable nouns.
With our free PDF notes you can get success in any competitive or entrance exams like CTET, KVS, NET, CAT, MAT, CMAT, SSC, B.ED, IBPS Recruitment, IAS, CSAT, State Civil Services Exams, UPTET, PSTET, HTET & many more. It also provides NCERT solutions, CBSE, NTSE, Olympiad study material, Indian General Knowledge, English, Hindi, Mathematics, Current affairs, Science, S.ST, model test papers, important Questions and Answers asked in CBSE examinations.