Nouns: countable and uncountable

Nouns: countable and uncountable

Do you know how to use a, some, any, much and many? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

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

Countable and uncountable nouns 1: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

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.

Countable nouns

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.

Uncountable nouns

Here are some examples of uncountable nouns:

bread rice coffee information
money advice luggage furniture

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 some 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

Countable and uncountable nouns 1: Grammar test 2

Average: 4 (100 votes)
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Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Wed, 21/04/2021 - 13:13

Occasionally I mistakenly say 'informations are ...'. Tricky!

Submitted by Hussainhxh on Wed, 21/04/2021 - 00:54

Very interesting lesson

Submitted by roberto90 on Mon, 12/04/2021 - 10:00

is this sentence correct as well? I've bought some new shoes but I didn't get any shirt.

Hello again Roberto,

People would understand it, but really 'any' should be 'a'. We use 'any' with plural count nouns (e.g. 'shirts') or uncount nouns (e.g. 'bread') and 'a' with singular count nouns (e.g. 'a shirt').

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sun, 14/03/2021 - 12:28

Hello admins, I've got a question. Will you please tell me the difference between 'There aren't any seats' and 'There isn't any seat'? ;)

Hello Rafaela1,

They mean much the same thing. The first one suggests that someone was asking or thinking about finding multiple seats and the second one suggests just one seat, but if you asked to enter a place that was already at full capacity, someone might say either or both of them to you with the same meaning.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Maahir on Sun, 14/03/2021 - 07:02

Hi, Thanks for the great lessons you're providing us. Just wondering why money is listed under the uncountable nouns while it can be counted in number. for exmp. 1/2/3 dollar. could you please explain it more. Thanks.
Profile picture for user Jonathan R

Submitted by Jonathan R on Sun, 14/03/2021 - 12:03

In reply to by Maahir


Hi Maahir,

In your example, it's the word dollar (not the word money) that is countable. The word money is different - it refers to an amount, and is (normally) uncountable. :)


The LearnEnglish Team