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learning English Grammar | countable and uncountable nouns





English Grammar | how to use countable and uncountable nouns correctly


International aid is very important after natural disasters. [correct]
International aids are very important after natural disasters. [incorrect]

Every country has its own customs and behaviours. [incorrect]
Every country has its own customs and behaviour. [correct]

Many common nouns in English are uncountable - they do not have a plural form and they are followed by a singular verb form. These include: aid, behaviour, clothing, employment, equipment, furniture, help, information, pollution, software, transport


A lot of information is available on the internet.
There are several causes of pollution.
Different methods of transport have different benefits for the passengers.

Nouns ending with -ing to describe an activity are also uncountable:
advertising, farming, shopping, swimming, training etc.

This type of farming causes damage to the environment.
The new workers will need a lot of training.

Some words have countable [C] and uncountable [U] forms used in different context or situations:

He has no work experience. [U] knowledge and skills you gain by doing something
Going into hospital is often a stressful experience. [C] a particular event or situation

How much time do you spend on commuting? [U] hours, minutes etc.
How many times do you go each week? [C] occasions

The waiters all wear local dress. [U] traditional clothes for a particular context
She had two bridesmaids in pink dresses. [C] a piece of women's clothing

Also:  
We often go walking in the country. [singular: the countryside]
He's visited a number of countries. [plural: nations]

See more IELTS common mistakes





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