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

Section: 

Comments

Hey,

is "food" considered as uncount noun. If yes, can you tell me if this sentence is correct?
"7 foods that make you feel gross"

Please advise

Hello aesa006,

That sentence is correct. 'Food' can be both count and uncount. When we use it to mean 'types of food' or 'foodstuffs' we use it as a count noun.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,

I would like to ask regarding this topic as i have seen that machinery & equipment are words that are included for uncount noun.
Does this mean that we cannot say machineries & equipments because both dont have any plural forms? Or is it because this topic focuses only for "british english" not the US one.

Please advise

Hell aesa006,

As you say, 'machinery' and 'equipment' are uncount nouns and so no plural forms are used in standard English. This is the same for British and US (and other) Englishes.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Wow! It seems like I'm living in the dark my whole life and thought that there is "machineries".
Thank you for this enlightenment and to your whole team!

Thanks for your lesson.I really like it.but I stile can't do it well.I will try as much as possible.

Hello kinal,

That's ok, don't worry. I'd recommend you come back to the page in the future – it will probably be easier then. 

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
I ha've some problems with the word:hair/hairs. What is the different use of it, in singular and plural?

Hello maridiri,

In most contexts, 'hair' (the uncount noun) is used. For example, 'You have lovely hair' or 'His hair is black', as we're not really speaking about all the individual hairs someone has. In certain contexts, however, the singular or plural forms of the count noun are possible. I'd suggest you study the example sentences for 'hair' in the dictionary.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi!

What is the difference between " detail information" and "detailed information"?

Thanks in advance

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