Countable and uncountable nouns


Nouns describing things which change shape are UNCOUNTABLE nouns.


There’s the obvious ones like:

bread, water, metal, wood, 

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Then ones which are made of individual bits which are so tiny no one would ever really count them, such as :

rice,  spaghetti & pasta, hair,


And others which are sometimes more difficult, because they are a collection of a family of individual items,

so the countable chairs, tables, wardrobes, bookshelves etc, when but together, become the uncountable


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The apples, pears, bananas, plums, orages, etc. together become the uncountable


knives, forks and spoons, become


Suitcases, bags, rucksacks (UK)-or-backpacks (N.Am) skis and anything else you carry with you on a journey become the uncountable

luggage in the UK or baggage in the US


And who could give a shape to

knowledge, information, experience, the news, advice, so these too are uncountable in English (which is difficult for French speakers).

So I would say “The best advice I can give you is….”

Is there any fruit left ?

The pasta‘s ready.

The bread is still hot.

Knowledge is a precious thing.

Is that all the luggage you’ve got ?


Now the problem is that a countable word practically cannot exist alone. It must always have either an article (a, the, my,) or an “s”

chairs and tables. (add examples of students errors here)

And if you want to know more about using “lots of” and “a lot of”, “much” and “many”, then this guy explains it all:

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