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Count and Non-Count Nouns

Count
Count nouns refer to people, places, or things that can be counted. They can be made plural, usually by
adding -s or -es at the end. Here is a chart of some Count Nouns, the categories in which they fit, and
their singular and plural forms.

Count Nouns

Persons

Places

Things

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

boy
teacher
janitor
assistant
president
student
athlete
secretary
duchess

boys
teachers
janitors
assistants
presidents
students
athletes
secretaries
duchesses

shop
restaurant
field
area
office
station
laboratory
post office
zoo

shops
restaurants
fields
areas
offices
stations
laboratorie
s
post offices
zoos

watch
hose
lawn
mower
computer
disk
table
knife
penny
handout
staple

watches
hoses
lawn mowers
computer disks
tables
knives
pennies
handouts
staples

Non-Count
Non-Count nouns are used to describe a quality, action, thing or substance that can be poured or
measured. They also refer to a whole category made up of different varieties or a whole group of things
that is made up of many individual parts. They do not have a plural form. Here are some examples of
Non-Count Nouns, and the categories in which they fit.

Non-Count Nouns
Poured / Measured

Qualities

Actions

shampoo
milk

friendliness
honesty

signing / to sign
standing / to stand

sugar
paint

integrity
reliability

running / to run
driving / to drive

Here is a chart of individual items within a category (the count nouns), and the name of the category (the
non-count nouns).
Count

Non-Count

Items in Category

Head of Category

strawberries
bananas
peaches
apples

fruit

televisions
posters
tables
chairs

stuf

secretaries
assistants
computer aides
librarians

staf

pants
shirts
shorts
socks

clothing

automobiles
trains
planes
bicycles

transportation

history professors
sociology teachers
art instructors

faculty

Examples
Some nouns, like the word time, can be used as either a count noun, or a non-count noun.
How much time did it take for you to
drive to school?

This is a non-count noun, because it refers to a category


that contains smaller items (think of it as a "group" of
minutes).

How many times did you take the


test before you passed?

This is a count noun, because you can count exactly


how many separate times you took the test.

Here are some other nouns that can be used as both count and non-count nouns:
Used as a Count Noun

Used as a Non-Count Noun

beau
ty

Miss Gallaudet is a beauty.

Other students envied her beauty.

fire

Will you please light a fire in the


fireplace?

John Doe's home was destroyed by


fire.

deat
h

They had a death in the family.

Death is a tragic thing.

goss
ip

Susan is a gossip.

Gossip can destroy people's


reputations.

food
s

Supermarkets have aisles for diferent


foods.

The animals at the zoo wanted food.

The Much and Many Rule:

Many is used with count nouns


Much is used with non-count nouns

Count Nouns

Non-Count Nouns

How many papers do you have to write?

How much homework did you have last night?

There were too many books required for that


class.

I had to read so much literature for my English


class.

If you're still not sure how to identify non-count nouns and count nouns, you can look them up in the
dictionary.
Longman's Dictionary

n for countable
n[U] for uncountable
n[C] for both countable and uncountable.

Newbury House English Learner's Dictionary

N COUNT for countable nouns


N UNCOUNT for uncountable nouns.