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Count nouns

Count nouns have two forms: singular and plural.

Singular count nouns refer to one person or thing:

a teacher a book a wish an idea

Plural count nouns refer to more than one person or thing:

teachers books wishes ideas

Singular count nouns

Singular count nouns cannot be used alone. They must have a determiner:

the English teacher that book a wish my latest idea
Singular count nouns 1

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Singular count nouns 2

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Plural count nouns

We usually add –s to make a plural noun:

book > books
school > schools
friend > friends

We add –es to nouns ending in –s, –ch, –sh, –ss, –x and –o:  

class > classes
watch > watches
gas > gases
wish > wishes
box > boxes
potato > potatoes

When a noun ends in a consonant and –y, we make the plural with –ies:

lady > ladies
country > countries
party > parties

If a noun ends in a vowel and –y, we simply add –s:

boy > boys
day > days
play > plays

Some common nouns have irregular plurals:

man > men
woman > women
child > children
person > people
foot > feet
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Plural count nouns 2

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Plural count nouns do not have a general determiner when they refer to people or things in general:

Computers are very expensive.
Do you sell old books?

But they may have a specific determiner:

Those computers are very expensive.
The books in that shop are very expensive. 
Her sisters live there.

or a quantifier:

some new books a few teachers lots of good ideas

or a numeral:

two new books three wishes
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Plural count nouns 4

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Plural count nouns 5

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Comments

Hello Ahmed Imam,

That's a good point. In this case, I think both 'is' and 'are' are OK. 'hours' is plural and so it's easy to see why 'are' is correct given that. But often people say 'is' here because 'Five hours' is conceptualized as a single period of time and therefore is conceptualized as a single (countable) subject.

Hope that's not too confusing.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. Please! Which one is correct? Why
- There are fewer pirates today than in the past.
- There are less pirates today than in the past.
Thank you

Hello Ahmed Imam,

We use less with uncountable nouns and fewer with countable nouns. 'Pirates' is a countable noun. Therefore, the first sentence is correct.

 

Note that not all native speakers use standard grammar forms all the time, so you may well hear people using less with countable nouns. It may be that the language will change in the future, but for now the rule is as stated above.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,

This is about noun phrases.

Following phrases are noun phrases. Do we need to use comma between noun phrases when using it with actual sentence?

an eight-year, old boy with a gun, who tried to rob a sweet shop
that girl over there, in a green dress, drinking a Coke

Hello Chekytan,

I'd say your question is more about punctuation than about noun phrases. Punctuation is usually something done at the level of the sentence -- in other words, I'd need to see the complete sentences these phrases are a part of to be able to recommend adequate punctuation.

But, at a glance, I can say that the second one would probably be OK in many situations. The second one would probably be punctuated something like 'an eight-year-old boy with a gun who tried to rob a sweet shop'. But as I said, it depends on the complete sentence it is a part of.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,

which group of sentences is correct, especially about the usage of punctuation?

Some people saw an eight-year old boy, with a gun, who tried to rob a sweet shop.
I love that girl over there, in a green dress, drinking a Coke.

or

Some people saw an eight-year old boy with a gun who tried to rob a sweet shop.
I love that girl over there in a green dress drinking a Coke.

Hello CHEKYTAN,

In your second sentence you should say 'the green dress' rather than 'a green dress'.

As far as punctuation goes, I think the most likely option for the first sentence is this:

Some people saw an eight-year old boy with a gun, who tried to rob a sweet shop.

 

For the second sentence there are various possibilities. You could have no comma:

I love that girl over there in the green dress drinking a Coke.

Alternatively, you could include one or more commas:

I love that girl over there, in the green dress, drinking a Coke.

It really depends on the context and the author's intention and style.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,

Great, Thanks!

This is really helpful.

Hello,
I would like to ask which of the following is correct
1.The house has got a lot of windows or
2. The house has got lots of windows?
Thank you in advance

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