Level: beginner

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 food. (NOT foods)
We bought some new furniture. (NOT furnitures)
That's useful information. (NOT a 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

Some common nouns in English like information are uncount nouns even though they have plurals in other languages:

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

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

Common uncount nouns 1

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

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

However, accommodation, money and traffic cannot be made countable in this way. We need to use other expressions:

I've lived in three flats/apartments. (NOT bits of accommodation)
Smith received three large sums of money. (NOT pieces of money)
We got stuck in two traffic jams. (NOT pieces of traffic)

Common uncount nouns 2

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Common uncount nouns 3

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Comments

hello please answer to my question:why we say a lot of food?is it true?i think we must use lot of food.

Why ,I think it is true Because it is prhase 'a lot of'

nice. like it

I like this class))

HELLO this is Soma..................i am confused about singular count noun............for example."some new books".......how this can be singular...............please help me. thank uou.
 

Hello!Could you explain the sentence number 8.Why in the second part must be "is finished" .Thank you!
 

Hello Enara,
That's because 'homework' is an uncount noun and we treat uncount nouns as singular when we are choosing which verb form to use.
Best wishes,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
Thanks for the lessons, It is a great course...
Could you please explain the sentence number six?
Maybe it is no the right word....
If you want my advice, I'd sell it as soon as possible
 
Thank you!!!!

Hi Cloudyie

Sentence 6 is correct. 

We often use the phrase "If you want my advice" before we give someone a piece of advice.

I think that the sentence is a bit messy because it combines two ways to give advice. The first: "the advice gambit" - If you want my advice

And the second conditional advice phrase "If I were you" + I would... 

Perhaps, it would have been clearer if the sentence had read "If you want my advice, sell it as soon as possible." 

Thanks

Jack

The LearnEnglish Team

 

hello
pleas can you tell me  what's the differenc between''few'' and ''a few''.thanky

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