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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #121046: Countable nouns - uncountable nouns...
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Frequent mistakes | Plural | Quantities [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Plural - Placement test beginners: Check your spelling - Past simple or present perfect - Placement test 1 - Countable or Uncountable? - Some / Any / Much / Many - Although / in spite of / despite - Some and any
    > Double-click on words you don't understand


    Countable nouns - uncountable nouns...


    When studying nominal groups, one of the most important points is to know if the nouns used in the different sentences are COUNTABLES (which means they can be counted) or UNCOUNTABLES (they can't be counted). This difference has, indeed, a lot of consequences on these nouns and on the sentences in which they're used. Therefore, you must know these words and their constructions. 


     

    I) COUNTABLES: Characteristics of countable nouns:

    - They indicate elements which can be counted: they can be used either in the singular  or in the plural.

    - They can be preceded by a numeral (either cardinal or ordinal), by 'many', 'few', 'a few', 'several', 'these' and 'those', 'a' ou 'an'...

    - There were many books in the school library; a lot of these books had no pictures at all; on the top shelf, I saw a few books in Chinese. 


     

        

     

    II) UNCOUNTABLES:  1) Characterictics of Uncountable Nouns:

     

    a) They have no plural. The verb which accompanies them is  ALWAYS IN THE SINGULAR.

    Your hair is too long! You should have it cut!

     

    b) In front of them, it's impossible to have a numeral [(either a cardinal one : one, two, three...) or an ordinal one : (first, second, third ...)], 'few/ a few/ many', or the indefinite article:  'a/ an'.

     

    c) An uncountable noun can be preceded by 'some, any, no', 'little', 'a little', much, this/ that (but not 'these/ those' [which are plurals].

    If we want to be more precise, 'a lot of',  or 'a piece of'... or even, the absence of indefinite article [0] must be used.

    Your father gave me a lot of advice. On the contrary, your mother only gave me one piece of advice, but it was a very important one. 

    What a disaster! We've run out of chocolate.

     

    2) UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS: WHAT ARE THEY? 

    a) CONCRETE nouns expressing MATERIALS and FOOD: 

                  MATERIALS                  FOOD
     Cotton/ silk/ velvet/ wool chocolate/ butter/ flour/ meat
     Plastic/ concrete/ stone          beer/ wine/ water
     Iron/ steel/ gold/ silver tea/ coffee/ milk                        
     Wood/ water juice/ beer/ wine



     
                              


    - HUMAN ACTIVITIES:


     play(ing)  swimming           
     work  housing
     business                singing





     
                                                   


    - GROUPS of ELEMENTS: when wanting to speak about one item only, use "a piece of..."


     Furniture  News
     Luggage Knowledge                      
     Information                        Trouble
     Progress Evidence
     Advice  Nonsense



                                                   
       
                                         
                                 
    Here is what you need to know about COUNTABLES and UNCOUNTABLES. The following test shouldn't be too difficult for you... I give you THE FORCE...  




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    English exercise "Countable nouns - uncountable nouns..." created by here4u with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from here4u]
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    A. 'Where your ?' ' upstairs…' 'Can you take down for me, please?'

    B. 'Can you give me about uncountable nouns?'

    C. 'They've got furniture. If you ask them nicely, they might give you of for your new flat.'

    D.' Look at these students’ . much too long.' 'They’ll have to have cut to respect the dress code.'

    E. 'Can we talk? I need your .' 'Come in an hour, I’ll see what I can do.'

     

                                                                            








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