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GRAMMAR: Make uncountable nouns countable

make _uncountable_nouns_countableNouns can be split into two different groups – countable and uncountable. (see Countable and uncountable nouns for more information)

Countable nouns, as the name suggests, can be counted. For example, you can have 1 pen or 2 pens, a car or some or a lot of cars.

However, uncountable nouns cannot be counted. For example, you cannot have 2 advices or some ora lot of advices.

However, there are two ways to make an uncountable noun countable.

How to make an uncountable noun countable method 1

Add a countable ‘container’ for the uncountable noun.

For example, milk is uncountable but bottles of milk can be counted. You can say a bottle of milk, 2 bottles of milk etc.


How to make an uncountable noun countable method 2

Use a countable form of the word.

For example, work is uncountable, but job is countable.

The table below shows more examples of how to make uncountable nouns countable.

UncountableCountable
AdviceA piece of advice – pieces of advice
LuggageA suitcase, a bag or a piece of luggage – suitcases, bags or pieces of luggage
moneya note, a coin – notes, coins
cakea slice of cake, a piece of cake – slices or pieces of cake
furniturea table, a chair, a piece of furniture – tables, chairs, pieces of furniture
breada slice of bread, a loaf of bread, a piece of bread – slices, loaves, pieces of bread
knowledgea fact – facts
travela journey, a trip – journeys, trips
toothpastea tube of toothpaste – tubes of toothpaste
winea bottle of wine, a glass of wine – bottles of or glasses of wine
buttera pat of butter – pats of butter
cheesea slice of cheese, a chunk of cheese, a piece of cheese – slices, chunks or pieces of cheese
sugara sugarcube, a spoonful of sugar, a bowl of sugar – sugarcubes, spoonfuls of sugar, bowls of sugar
Petrol (gas)a litre of petrol – litres of petrol.
Salta pinch of salt – pinches of salt
soapa bar of soap – bars of soap
haira strand of hair – strands of hair
glassa sheet of glass, a pane of glass – sheets or panes of glass

Have you tried the countable and uncountable nouns exercises?

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