Non-countable (Noncount) Nouns

What Are Non-countable (Noncount) Nouns? (with Examples)

homeglossaryNon-countable (Noncount) Nouns
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
musicfive musics
furniturefive furnitures
tennisfive tennises
mercuryfive mercuries

Non-countable nouns are singular.

Examples of Non-countable (Noncount) Nouns

Non-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 Plural

There 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.)
Method 2: Make the non-countable noun an adjective to a countable noun. For example:
  • five bread loaves
  • five cheese blocks
Generally, non-countable nouns cannot be pluralized. However, some can be pluralized when talking about categories of that noun. This is most common with non-countable nouns in the food and liquid categories. For example:
  • France is famous for its cheeses.
  • (Categories of cheese)
  • There are many fine wines from Chile.
  • (Categories of wine)

A Quick Test


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.

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