Countable and Uncountable nouns

In an earlier blog I talked about how to use A, AN and THE. We learned that A and AN mean 1.
A banana = 1 banana      An apple = 1 apple
We use A and AN with nouns we can count (bananas, books etc.), but we don’t use them with nouns we can’t count. (water, music etc.)

Today I want look at countable and uncountable nouns in more detail. If you can understand the difference between these 2 kinds of nouns it will be easier to use them naturally in English conversation. It will also help you to understand more parts of  English grammar.

A common mistake students make is trying to use A or AN with uncountable nouns.
“I heard a good music yesterday at Tower records.” INCORRECT
“I heard a good song yesterday.” CORRECT
A song is countable, we can count them. This CD has 8 new songs. Music is not countable. We don’t say 4 musics. A correct sentence would be:
“I heard good music yesterday at Tower records.” Not A good music.

Examples of nouns we can’t count:
water  – I would like some more water please. (We can’t count liquids like juice, paint etc.)
sand – I went to the beach and got sand in my shoes.
rice – This rice is too sticky! (Rice and sand are many small things in a group so we can’t say “a sand or a rice)
money – I wish I had more money! (A dollar we can count, 3 dollars. Money we can’t, 3 monies)

electricity – My cottage doesn’t have electricity

Next is part 2…

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