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

Hello akbarganje,

I think many of our users would like to improve their grammar, so you are not alone! The best place to start is our Help section, where we have put advice and tips for users on a variety of topics, including grammar. You can also use the grammar sections on LearnEnglish as a resource. Choose areas which you already know but find tricky or with which you have problems before moving on to completely new areas. Finally, although we cannot offer lessons on the site we do try to answer questions on specific examples here in the comments sections, so if you come across a particuarly puzzling example you can ask about it and we'll try to help.

 

Best wishes and good luck,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello, i'm new in here.

Hello panjie,

Welcome to LearnEnglish! I'm sure you'll have a great time improving your English with us. To get started, I recommend taking a look at our help pages, which you can find here. Just click on the links to see our best tips and suggestions.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter,

I am also a new member here, but found this is very interesting program for busy people like me to improve our language. Much appreciated for your help.

Best regards

Hello. Is this sentence correct? The two foods which we ate at restaurant were good.If not please write the correct form. Thanks a lot

Hello Mohammad56,

It's hard to be certain without knowing the full context but I would expect that the correct form would be:

The two foods which we ate at the restaurant were good.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I think the correct way to say that sentence would be:

The two types of food that we ate at the restaurant were good.

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

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