Some nouns in English are uncount nouns.

We do not use uncount nouns in the plural and we do not use them with the indefinite article, a/an.

We ate a lot of foods > We ate a lot of food
We bought some new furnitures > We bought some new furniture
That’s a useful information > That’s useful information

We can use some quantifiers with uncount nouns:

He gave me some useful advice.
They gave us a lot of information.

Uncount nouns often refer to:

  • Substances: food; water; wine; salt; bread; iron
  • Human feelings or qualities: anger; cruelty; happiness; honesty; pride;
  • Activities: help; sleep; travel; work
  • Abstract ideas: beauty; death; fun; life

 

Common uncount nouns

There are some common nouns in English, like accommodation, which are uncount nouns even though they have plurals in other languages:

 

advice baggage equipment furniture homework information
knowledge luggage machinery money news traffic

Let me give you some advice.
How much luggage have you got?

If we want to make these things countable, we use expressions like:

 

a piece of... pieces of... a bit of... bits of... an item of... items of...

 Let me give you a piece of advice.
That’s a useful piece of equipment.
We bought a few bits of furniture for the new apartment.
She had six separate items of luggage.

but we do not use accommodation, money and traffic in this way.

Exercise

Comments

To me, "few" has a negative meaning while "a few" has a positive one.

Let me take an example: "I have few/ a few friends"

The first case indicates that you nearly have no friends. Meanwhile, the second one indicates that you don't have many friends but at least you still have 2 or 3 friends.

Hope this makes you clearer.

Maxi Pham

Hello I´m new, I like this class!!

I really like this website.can you give me a list of uncount nouns

Hi Baarzaan,
I can't give you a list of all the uncount nouns, because there are too many! There are some above on this page and here are ten more for you: art, butter, electricity, gas, music, pasta, rice, rubbish, scenery, sugar.
Hope this helps,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

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