Countable vs. Uncountable Nouns
Did you know that not all nouns are countable in English? Knowing the difference between countable and uncountable nouns can help you in many areas of English grammar.
Countable nouns are nouns that can be counted. Most nouns in English are countable.
Uncountable nouns are not counted in English. This usually has to do with the way English speakers think of these nouns. We often picture these nouns as a single concept or one big thing which is hard to divide. Many of these words are countable in other languages, but they ARE NOT countable in English. Generally, we do not use plural forms of these words; however some of these words do end in "s", so don't get confused.
Uncountable nouns tend to belong to one of the following categories:
Liquids and Gases
Solid and Granular Substances
Energy Words and Forces
Information and Abstract Concepts
Sometimes in English, we do use uncountable nouns in plural forms. This is most commonly done with liquids and substances. It usually takes on the meaning of "cups of", "bottles of" or "types of".
There are certain words which have multiple meanings. It is possible for one meaning to be countable and the other to be uncountable. Take for example the word "light":
Generally, the rules are still the same. The first use of "light" is a form of energy. The second use of "light" means "small light bulbs", which are normal countable objects.
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