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What Are Non-countable (Noncount) Nouns? (with Examples)A non-countable noun (or mass noun as it's also known) is a noun without a plural form.
Non-countable nouns refer to things that cannot be counted. Look at these examples:
|Non-countable Noun>||Attempt At Making It Plural|
Non-countable nouns are singular.
Examples of Non-countable (Noncount) NounsNon-countable nouns usually fall into one of the following categories:
|Concept||bravery, honesty, information, intelligence, patience|
|Activity||homework, playing, reading, sleeping|
|Food||bread, butter, cheese, fish, milk|
|Gas||air, helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, smoke|
|Liquid||coffee, petrol, water, wine, beer|
|Material||chalk, cloth, concrete, lumber, wood, metal|
|Item Category||clothing, furniture, luggage, mail, money, software|
|Natural Phenomenon||gravity, heat, humidity, rain, snow, sunshine, thunder|
|Particles||dust, flour, rice, salt, sugar|
Making Non-countable Nouns PluralThere are two methods to pluralize a concept expressed by a non-countable noun:
Method 1: Precede it with a [countable noun] + "of". For example:
- five loaves of bread (Loaves is the countable noun.)
- five blocks of cheese (blocks is the countable noun.)
- five bread loaves
- five cheese blocks
- France is famous for its cheeses. (Categories of cheese)
- There are many fine wines from Chile. (Categories of wine)
A Quick Test
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SOME ADJECTIVES DON'T WORK WITH NON-COUNTABLE NOUNS
The following adjectives cannot precede a non-countable noun: these, those, each, every, either, and neither.
These adjectives are either for plural nouns or for plural ideas.
Read more about demonstrative adjectives.
Read more about indefinite adjectives.