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Countable nouns vs. uncountable nouns

Countable nouns, as the name suggests, are nouns of things you can count. All countable nouns will have a singular and a plural form, even if they are coinciding (that is, they can be the same word).

  • One friend, two friends.
  • A star, some stars.
  • This pen, these pens.
  • One curtain, many curtains.
  • One fish, many fish.
  • A deer, multiple deer.

 

Most plural forms of countable nouns are formed by adding an -s to the singular form. However, some plurals can further alter the word.
  • One goose, two geese.
  • One mouse, many mice.
  • This child, these children.
Countable nouns ending in -f or -fe will be pluralised with –ves.
  • One calf, many calves.
  • This knife, these knives.
  • A wife, some wives.
Countable nouns ending in -o will be pluralised with -oes.
  • One potato, many potatoes.
  • A tornado, two tornadoes.
  • A tomato, some tomatoes.
Countable nouns ending in -y or -ie will be pluralised with -ies.
  • One felony, many felonies.
  • A peony, two peonies.
  • One sharpie, two sharpies.

Uncountable nouns

As opposed to countable nouns, uncountable nouns cannot be counted. Therefore, they do not have a plural form.

  • Some milk, but never one milk, or many milks.
  • Some rice, but never one rice, or many rices.
  • Other examples are power, luggage, advice, money, water…
Many vs. Much

We use the determiner many for countable nouns.

  • I have many friends.
  • There were many dogs.
  • You can do it in many ways.
  • I saw so many trees.
  • You have too many worries.

We use the determiner much for uncountable nouns.

  • You put too much oil in!
  • I don’t have much milk left.
  • There’s so much sunlight coming through my window.
  • Do you have much luggage to load in the truck?

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