Look at these examples to see how to use countable and uncountable nouns in a sentence.
I'm making a cup of tea.
There's some money on the table.
Have we got any bread?
How many chairs do we need?
How much milk have we got?
Try this exercise to test your grammar.
- Grammar test 1
Read the explanation to learn more.
Nouns can be countable or uncountable. Countable nouns can be counted, e.g. an apple, two apples, three apples, etc. Uncountable nouns cannot be counted, e.g. air, rice, water, etc. When you learn a new noun, you should check if it is countable or uncountable and note how it is used in a sentence.
For positive sentences we can use a/an for singular nouns or some for plurals.
There's a man at the door.
I have some friends in New York.
For negatives we can use a/an for singular nouns or any for plurals.
I don't have a dog.
There aren't any seats.
Here are some examples of uncountable nouns:
We use some with uncountable nouns in positive sentences and any with negatives.
There's some milk in the fridge.
There isn't any coffee.
In questions we use a/an, any or how many with countable nouns.
Is there an email address to write to?
Are there any chairs?
How many chairs are there?
And we use any or how much with uncountable nouns.
Is there any sugar?
How much orange juice is there?
But when we are offering something or asking for something, we normally use some.
Do you want some chocolate?
Can we have more chairs, please?
We also use some in a question when we think the answer will be 'yes'.
Have you got some new glasses?
Other expressions of quantity
A lot of (or lots of) can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.
There are lots of apples on the trees.
There is a lot of snow on the road.
Notice that we don't usually use many or much in positive sentences. We use a lot of instead.
They have a lot of money.
However, in negative sentences we use not many with countable nouns and not much with uncountable nouns.
There are a lot of carrots but there aren't many potatoes.
There's lots of juice but there isn't much water.
Go to Countable and uncountable nouns 2 to learn more.
Try this exercise to test your grammar again.
- Grammar test 2