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homework is uncountable noun

Countable or uncountable, and why it matters

homework is uncountable noun

by  Liz Walter

Many dictionaries for learners of English (including the one on this site) show whether nouns are ‘countable’ or ‘uncountable’, often using the abbreviations C and U. Countable nouns are things that you can count – one dog, two dogs, twenty dogs , etc. Uncountable nouns are things that you cannot count – water, sadness, plastic , etc.

It is important to know whether a noun is countable or uncountable, otherwise you are likely to make basic grammar mistakes. For example, countable nouns can have indefinite articles and can form plurals, but uncountable nouns cannot:

You should bring a coat. (‘coat’ is a countable noun)

I have three winter coats.

The teacher gave us a homework. (‘homework’ is an uncountable noun)

We have lots of homeworks.

If you have countable and uncountable nouns in your own language, you need to be very careful because they may not be the same ones. If I had £1 for every time one of my students has said or written ‘an advice’ or ‘some informations’, I would be very rich by now! In English, advice and information are both uncountable nouns, so they cannot have ‘an’ in front of them and they cannot be made plural.

Other common uncountable words that often cause problems are: equipment , furniture , transport , knowledge , countryside , traffic , research , progress , evidence , machinery.

You also need to know whether a noun is countable or uncountable in order to decide whether to say much or many . ‘Many’ is used with plural countable nouns and ‘much’ with uncountable nouns:

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

How much brothers and sisters do you have?

How much money do you have?

Some and any are used with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns, but not with singular countable nouns:

We don’t have any eggs/sugar.

Would you like some mushrooms/cheese?

Do you have any coat?

Sometimes we may want to make an uncountable noun more like a singular countable one. We do this by using a quantity expression before it:

She gave us an advice/information.

She gave us a piece of advice/information.

We bought a few furnitures/clothings.

We bought a few items of furniture/clothing.

Finally, some uncountable nouns end in ‘s’. They include activities such as aerobics, athletics, gymnastics and darts ; academic subjects such as economics, linguistics, politics and physics and illnesses such as measles, mumps, rabies and diabetes . These nouns look like countable plurals, but they are uncountable and therefore need a singular verb:

Linguistics is a very interesting subject.

Aerobics makes you fit.

You will probably notice that some words in the dictionary are labelled both C and U. In my next post, I’ll look at some of these words and explain how nouns can be both countable and uncountable.

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48 thoughts on “ Countable or uncountable, and why it matters ”

It’s helpful…

Extremely helpful.

A little bit of a headache

Is it? Then you’ll HATE advanced English.

Thanks a lot, Liz, for this excellent explanation. It is clear and concise!

Need to talk to you about the use of an apostrophe though.

One uncountable noun ending in ‘s’ that could be added to the list is news. It is difficult for French students to use a singular verb -what is the news? the news is good- since les nouvelles is a plural and need a plural verb!

Yes, that’s a very good addition.

I loved the article but would have liked to see my personal pet peeve. The countable error I see everywhere I go is the “ten items or less” signs which should be “10 items or fewer”. I did know a checkout clerk who put up their own, corrected sign at their place of employment.

Joshua, see my post on just this subject: https://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/2014/05/28/less-or-fewer/

I guess maybe you can say: “This piece of news is good” to avoid confusion but I saw it is not very usual. This kind of confusion can happen also in my language, Italian.

Yes, we’d be more likely to say: ‘That’s good news’, but we could say for example ‘I have a piece of news I think you’ll like’.

Hi Liz , Thank you very much for posting this informative article about countable and uncountable nouns.To be honest, I always had a confusion of not having indefinite article before a noun ( I did not know until now that it was because they were uncountable nouns☺). So , keep your good work up of enlightening guys like us about the unseen patterns of grammar in Language of English.

Confusion is also uncountable…. NOT a confusion.

very best issues in my life I need such guidance …

Really now I got why it’s not informatiions…same is the with findings, repercussions etc

Thank you for this article It is very effective to understand a challenging topic I always struggle with!!

About the puzzle of “any” (Some and any are used with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns, but not with singular countable nouns), which one should be more suitable, 1. Is there any question to ask the speaker? 2. Are there any questions to ask the speaker? Thanks a lot.

The second one is correct. The first one is not correct.

Hello, Liz. I’ve been following some of your posts and they’re all extremely helpful. Thank you for the good work made available through the blog. I’ve seen a few times in American series, though not much frequently, people saying “a water”… For example: A: I went to get her water and she ran away. B: Did you let her all by herself here and went to get her a water? (I imagine a water equals a glass of water, in the context of the scene)

Do people in England also say such a thing?

Thanks in advance,

It sounds quite unlikely to me. In theory, it’s possible in the context of being in a pub or cafe, but it would be much more common to say ‘some water’ or ‘a bottle/glass of water’.

Hi Liz, thanks a lot for the reply.

Yeah, it does seem unlikely to me too, especially for being a non-native speaker and having always been pointed out to by teachers that it’s completely wrong to say such a thing. I guess that’s quite Ame. If you ever want to check it out, it happened in the series Suits, season 01 – episode 06, at the moment 05:36. The precise words were “You left her alone to get her a water?”.

Hello, Liz. Thank you for your articles. Could you explain why did you omit ‘a’ before ‘cafe’ in your previous answer: ‘…it’s possible in the context of being in a pub or cafe…’? Thanks.

Denis – because if you link two countable nouns with ‘and’ or ‘or’, you only need to put an article in front of the first one, although it is not wrong to put them twice.

Yes thank you 😎

Thanks, Liz. It’s a great article on grammar.

It is emerging issue ,thanks for making blog.

Thanks,but how correct is it to use ‘much’ on a countable noun like MONEY instead of ‘many’?.Example;how much do have with you Liz,one US dollar says Liz.Anticipating ur response via my email

We say ‘how much’ as a short form of ‘how much money and money is uncountable: that’s why it’s ‘much’. Dollar is countable, so you’d have to say ‘How many dollars do you have?’ although that’s a very unlikely sentence.

But we can count money

We have to think about the word, not the item. We can’t say one money, two money.

I have a rather odd question. ‘Money’ is listed in the dictionary as an uncountable noun. However its older plural form ‘monies’ has been listed as a plural noun as well. Now as both a life long speaker and a teacher I’ve never used it though I have occasionally come across its use in spoken (I always dismissed it as a spoken error) and a student’s question has left me confused.

Very useful to Asian .Thank you!

I want to be in this group

I want to join in this group please

Very good. I need such guidance..

Hi Liz, I’ve said “Is there any problem?”. But according to your article, I should’ve said “Are there any problems?”

Yes, or ‘Is there a problem.’ However, I must say that your sentence doesn’t sound totally wrong to me – I think it might be possible in a fairly informal situation – just don’t write it in an exam!

Liz, could you comment some more words: salad, toast, pizza, cereal.

Salad and pizza can be C or U depending on whether you are talking about the food in general or a single portion/dish of it, as described above. Toast and cereal would be U in almost all cases, though it is possible to imagine a sentence such as ‘It is made from a mixture of four different cereals.’ I can’t think of a plausible context for making ‘toast’ countable, though someone else might!

Thanks for good post, I enjoy and I feel so easy to understand about articles.

Hi everyone, how can I do to improve my English? Fine some method, please.

My students struggle with “Do you like dog?” versus “Do you like dogs?” – I though this was an obvious place to go from the picture, but…

Hi Liz ‼ I just found that I always make mistakes when I am writing or speaking. I’m poor in English. Thanks very much for your help us 😁

Hi Liz, thank you very much. It helps us a lot. Could you please explain what’s wrong with “do you have any coat” and how to fix it?

See this part of my post: Some and any are used with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns, but not with singular countable nouns:

Coat is a singular not a plural noun, so you need to say ‘Do you have a coat?’

Thank you, awesome!

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Definition of homework noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

  • acquire/get/lack experience/training/(an) education
  • receive/provide somebody with training
  • develop/design/plan a curriculum/course/program/syllabus
  • give/go to/attend a class/lesson/lecture/seminar
  • hold/run/conduct a class/seminar/workshop
  • moderate/lead/facilitate a discussion
  • sign up for/take a course/classes/lessons
  • go to/start preschool/kindergarten/nursery school
  • be in the first, second, etc. grade (at school)
  • study/take/drop history/chemistry/German, etc.
  • finish/drop out of/quit school
  • graduate from high school/college
  • be the victim/target of bullying/teasing
  • skip/cut/ ( informal ) ditch class/school
  • cheat on an exam/a test
  • get/be given a detention (for doing something)
  • be expelled from/be suspended from school
  • do your homework/a project on something
  • work on/write/do/submit an essay/a dissertation/a thesis/an assignment/a paper
  • finish/complete your dissertation/thesis/studies
  • hand in/turn in your homework/essay/assignment/paper
  • study/prepare/review/ ( informal ) cram for a test/an exam
  • take/ ( formal ) sit for a test/an exam
  • grade homework/a test
  • do well on/ ( informal ) ace a test/an exam
  • pass/fail/ ( informal ) flunk a test/an exam/a class/a course/a subject
  • apply to/get into/go to/start college
  • leave/graduate from college (with a degree in computer science)/law school
  • study for/work towards a law degree/a degree in physics
  • major/minor in biology/philosophy
  • earn/receive/be awarded/get/have/hold a master's degree/a bachelor's degree/a Ph.D. in economics

Questions about grammar and vocabulary?

Find the answers with Practical English Usage online, your indispensable guide to problems in English.

  • 2 ( informal ) work that someone does to prepare for something You could tell that he had really done his homework (= found out all he needed to know) .

Nearby words

  • 1.1 Etymology
  • 1.2 Pronunciation
  • 1.3.1 Usage notes
  • 1.3.2 Hypernyms
  • 1.3.3 Coordinate terms
  • 1.3.4 Derived terms
  • 1.3.5 Translations
  • 1.4 See also
  • 1.5 References
  • 1.6 Anagrams

English [ edit ]

Etymology [ edit ].

From home +‎ work .

Pronunciation [ edit ]

  • ( Received Pronunciation ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈhəʊmˌwɜːk/
  • ( General American ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈhoʊmˌwɝk/

Noun [ edit ]

homework ( usually uncountable , plural homeworks )

  • 2013 July 1, Peter Wilby , “Finland's education ambassador spreads the word”, in The Guardian ‎ [1] , archived from the original on 2022-10-15 : Even 15-year-olds do no more than 30 minutes' homework a night.
  • 2023 January 12, Kevin Roose, “Don't Ban ChatGPT in Schools. Teach With It.”, in The New York Times ‎ [2] , archived from the original on 2023-01-17 : And I'm sympathetic to teachers who feel that they have enough to worry about, without adding A.I.-generated homework to the mix.
  • 2012 April 10, John Hudson, “North Korea Has a Clumsy Way of Soothing Concerns About Its Rocket Launch”, in The Atlantic ‎ [3] , archived from the original on 2022-01-22 : Since the whole world is watching this launch, they probably should've done some homework on their talking points.
  • 2017 May 9, “Mindful sex is better sex, says B.C. researcher promoting new workbook”, in CBC News ‎ [4] , archived from the original on 2022-11-22 : Four years after her first sexual health book came out, Dr. Lori Brotto is giving her readers a little bit of homework for the bedroom.
  • 2022 July 18, Donald Mcrae , quoting Michael Yormark, “Roc Nation's Michael Yormark on Romelu Lukaku: 'You have to play to his strengths... I don't think that happened'”, in The Guardian ‎ [5] , archived from the original on 2022-12-26 : I didn't even know who he was until I did my homework and realised he was a premier footballer for Bayern.
  • 2023 August 7, Suzanne Wrack , “England beat Nigeria on penalties to reach Women’s World Cup quarter-finals”, in The Guardian ‎ [6] : Nigeria had done their homework and were well organised. Halimatu Ayinde was exceptional in her marking of James, who had scored twice and provided three assists as she ran the show against China.
  • 1989 , Eileen Boris, Cynthia R. Daniels, Homework: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Paid Labor at Home , University of Illinois Press , →ISBN , page 241 : Hatch perceived homework to be one tool—along with various workfare schemes and private sector training programs—that would take women off welfare and make poor women "independent."
  • 1933 , James T. Farrell , Gas-House McGinty , page 186 : My wife and I want a kid, and we do plenty of homework , but goddamn it, Dutch, I just can't connect.
  • ( BDSM ) Tasks assigned by a dominant for a submissive to perform when they are physically away from their dominant or otherwise free.

Usage notes [ edit ]

  • ( exercises assigned by a teacher ) The term homework generally implies that the work is mandatory and worth marks; exercises that are optional are usually referred to as practice problems , review problems , extra practice , exercises , etc.
  • ( exercises assigned by a teacher ) Work of a larger scale than homework (which involves a series of relatively simple exercises) is usually referred to as an assignment or project .

Hypernyms [ edit ]

Coordinate terms [ edit ], derived terms [ edit ].

  • bit of homework
  • do one's homework
  • homework club
  • homework diary
  • piece of homework
  • the dog ate my homework

Translations [ edit ]

See also [ edit ], references [ edit ], anagrams [ edit ].

homework is uncountable noun

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Uncountable Nouns

Rules and examples.

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  • 1 apple/3 apples
  • 1 foot/12 feet
  • a mouse/several mice

Uncountable Nouns:

  • cannot be counted
  • cannot be made plural
  • are not usually used with the articles "a" or "an"
  • cannot be used alone with numbers

sugar

Rules for using uncountable nouns

1. uncountable nouns have only one form.

  • I need advices .
  • I need  advice .
  • I need some advice .

furniture

  • The room is full of furnitures .
  • The room is full of furniture .
  • The room has a lot of furniture .
  • We have had cold weathers this week.
  • We have had a lot of cold weather this week.
  • We haven’t had much warm weather this week.

pancakes

  • I put butters on my pancakes .
  • I put butter on my pancakes.
  • I put a slice of butter on my pancakes.

2. Uncountable nouns do not immediately follow A or AN

  • I eat a sugar on my cereal.
  • I eat sugar on my cereal.
  • I eat some sugar on my cereal.
  • I eat a spoonful of  sugar on my cereal.
  • You must have an experience to apply for the job.
  • You must have  experience to apply for the job.
  • You must have a little  experience to apply for the job.
  • I have a sand in my shoe.
  • I have  sand in my shoe.
  • I have a bunch of  sand in my shoe.

3. You can modify uncountable nouns with quantity words and phrases

water

  • one cup of water
  • a little bit of   water
  • some   water
  • a drop of   water

drop of water

  • a lot of/lots of
  • a little bit of
  • Step outside for some fresh air .
  • Did you bring any luggage to the hotel?
  • Add a little flour to the dough.

storm

  • I need a lot of money for my trip.
  • Jim heard lots of thunder last night.
  • A little bit of kindness goes a long way.
  • The office does not have enough work for another employee.
  • Teachers need plenty of patience to work with children.
  • I have no coffee for my guests.

4. You can modify uncountable nouns by using a word that specifies a container or a form

  • handful/handfuls
  • bottle/bottles
  • packet/packets
  • piece/pieces
  • grain/grains
  • barrel/barrels
  • handful of grass
  • bottle of water
  • jar of coffee
  • cups of tea
  • bowls of cheese

sugar, coffee, and tea

  • bars of gold and silver
  • slab of beef
  • cubes of sugar
  • game of tennis
  • grains of sand
  • barrels of wine

cup of tea

  • the two bottles of water
  • large jars of coffee
  • the packet of salt
  • a warm cup of tea
  • half a bowl of cheese
  • a piece of equipment
  • twenty bars of gold or silver
  • a huge slab of beef
  • some cubes of sugar
  • a game of tennis
  • many grains of sand
  • three barrels of wine

barrels

5 . Some nouns can be countable or uncountable depending on their meaning and how they are used in a sentence

glass of juice

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homework is uncountable noun

Improving Your English

All you need to know about countable and uncountable nouns

homework is uncountable noun

What’s the difference between countable and uncountable nouns , and what grammar rules do you need to know to use them correctly?

Also known as  count and noncount nouns , this vocabulary point can trip you up when you’re learning English as a second language. It’s especially tricky because:

  • There are no concrete rules for classifying nouns as countable or uncountable (although there are some general guidelines that we will explain later).
  • Certain nouns that are countable in other languages may be uncountable in English, so you’ll have to un-learn what you know from your native language and learn a different set of rules for English words.

So, let’s take a detailed look at countable vs uncountable nouns, with plenty of examples showing how to use them with the correct articles, quantifiers, and other determiners.

a table spread with countable and uncountable nouns foods

The basics of countable and uncountable nouns

What is a countable noun.

A  countable noun (also called a count noun) is a noun naming something that can be counted using standard numbers. Countable nouns usually have singular and plural forms. 

Examples of countable nouns include chair, table, rabbit, page, part, and lemon .

So, we can have one chair, five tables, ten rabbits, twenty-three lemons, and three hundred pages .

You are probably already familiar with this pattern of counting things in English.

What is an uncountable noun?

An uncountable noun (also called a mass noun or a non-count noun) is a noun naming something that cannot be counted in English using standard numbers. These nouns cannot be made plural.

Examples of uncountable nouns include rice, money, advice, news, and happiness .

We cannot have one rice, five monies, two advices, or a happiness .

Instead, we must use different determiners to quantify these particular things: a cup of rice , a bag of money , and a piece of advice .

Now you know these basics, it’s time to take a deeper look at what this means in practice. You need to know whether you’re dealing with a countable or uncountable noun so you can select the correct determiners and plural forms in your writing and speech.

Rules for using countable nouns

We’ll begin by going over the rules for using countable nouns, since these are most straightforward.

Countable nouns:

  • Can be separated into whole, individual, countable units
  • Broadly refer to people, places, and things
  • Have a singular and a plural form (with a few exceptions like sheep, deer, fish) – see this site for more about how to form plurals
  • May take indefinite articles (a/an) as well as the definite article (the)
  • May take other determiners such as this/that/these/those, some/any/few/many/several, my/your/his/her/our/their
  • To form a question about a countable noun, we say ‘How many…’

Countable noun example sentences

Most of the nouns we use in English are countable. Here are some example sentences showing correct usage:

  • I have two cats as pets .
  • She bought a few books from the store .
  • We went to the zoo and saw several giraffes .
  • The school has six classrooms for different subjects .
  • He has a collection of ten stamps .
  • My father owns a few bikes .
  • The store has a variety of balloons in different colors.
  • He has five siblings : three brothers  and two sisters .
  • There are many oranges in the fruit basket .
  • The bakery doesn’t have any bread left.
  • I would like to buy that handbag .
  • How many meals should I order at  the restaurant ?

Read about the difference between few vs a few here.

Rules for using uncountable nouns

Uncountable nouns are used less often in English, and they:

  • Are abstract ideas, qualities, or masses that can’t be separated and counted individually
  • Do not have a plural form and are treated as singular nouns (and therefore take the singular form of the verb)
  • May take the definite article (the) but do not take the indefinite articles (a/an)
  • May take other determiners such as much/little/less/any/some and my/your/his/her/our/their
  • Can be quantified with phrases that contain countable nouns (e.g. a bag of rice)
  • To form a question about an uncountable noun, we say ‘How much…’

See also: What’s the difference between less and fewer?

Uncountable noun examples

We can group uncountable nouns into some broad categories. Although we cannot list them all here, the following groups are a general guide that may make it easier for you to identify others in the future:

This may seem like a long list of uncountable nouns; however, there are hundreds more. 

Quantifying an uncountable noun

Although we can’t quantify uncountable nouns using numbers, we can add a countable unit of measurement to refer to one or more quantities of these things. Below are some of the most common quantifiers we can use to refer to things that are uncountable.

  • A piece of… advice, art, cheese, equipment, evidence, furniture, homework, information, luck, luggage, music, news, paper, poetry, publicity, rubbish, software
  • A bottle of… beer, water, wine, sauce, salad dressing
  • A carton of… juice, milk, cream
  • A packet of… ketchup, rice, gum
  • A plate/bowl of… cereal, pasta, rice
  • A drop of… blood, oil, rain, water
  • A game of… badminton, chess, football, soccer, tennis
  • A ray of… hope, light, sun
  • A grain of… sand, rice, sugar, dignity
  • A cube of… ice, sugar
  • A blob of… toothpaste, mayonnaise, glue
  • A pane of glass
  • A round of applause
  • A bar of soap
  • A mode of transport
  • A bolt of lightning
  • A blade of grass
  • A rasher of bacon
  • A sheet of paper

Determiners for count and noncount nouns

You’ll have seen from the examples above that certain determiners can only be used for one type of noun, whereas others can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns. Here’s a handy reference table for these, although this is not an exhaustive list.

Most other adjectives can modify both countable and uncountable nouns.

See also:  What’s the difference between advice vs advise?

Some nouns can be countable and uncountable

You might often hear people say something like “I take two sugars in my tea”. What they really mean is “two teaspoons of sugar”, but the noun “sugar” has taken on that meaning and become countable.

In this way, uncountable nouns can sometimes be used as countable when referring to a complete unit or measurement of something, normally in relation to food and beverages. Here are some more examples:

  • I’ll have three coffees , please. (three cups of coffee)
  • I’ve had too many beers tonight! (glasses/cans/bottles of beer)
  • Could I get two more ketchups ? (two sachets of ketchup)

Uncountable nouns may also be used as countable when they refer to a specific type, example, or category of something . For example:

  • You should have at least five different cheeses on your cheese board.
  • The best wines in the world are produced in France.
  • We used three woods to make this beautiful box.
  • They encountered a lot of difficulties while completing the project.
  • These juices are all freshly squeezed.

These plural countable nouns are exceptions to the rule given earlier.

Nouns with different countable and uncountable meanings

To make things even more confusing, certain nouns in English have two or more meanings. When a noun refers to different things, one countable and one uncountable, you must remember which is which in order to form a correct sentence. Here are some common examples of words with dual meanings:

As you can see,  English can be hard to learn . Fortunately, you can always check in a dictionary to see whether a noun is countable or uncountable. Some dictionaries, such as  Oxford Dictionaries , specify this in the definition.

We hope this information about countable vs uncountable nouns has been helpful. It can be quite a tricky English grammar topic to get right because, even once you have mastered the rules of count and noncount nouns, there is still no hard-and-fast way to know which words are which, unless you look them up.

Leave a comment below if you have any more questions about this topic or want to check your understanding of a particular point we’ve mentioned.

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Nouns - Countable and Uncountable

Review of countable nouns.

Two chair s

Three table s

Three chair s

Four  table s

Five chair s

Six  table s

These nouns are easy to count so we count them.

Review of uncountable nouns

Liquids / hard to count.

Fish Bowl

There are different amounts of water in each picture, but all are still called water. 

Rice

There are different amounts of rice in each picture, but all are still called rice.

Uncountable material but with countable forms

cake uncountable

cake - uncountable

slice of cake countable

slice of cake - countable form = slice

cake countable

cake - countable as a whole cake

piece of cake countable

piece of cake - countable form = piece

'Cake' is uncountable but it has three countable forms: slice, whole and piece. For example:

two slices of cake

three cakes

four pieces of cake

'Chocolate' is also uncountable but it has three countable forms: bar, piece and whole.

Nouns where 'pieces' is the countable form

We will look at some uncountable nouns where their countable form is 'piece'. 

Is 'food' countable or uncountable?

 - 'Food' is uncountable. Let's look at why.

One piece of food

Two pieces of food

One  pizza

One  hamburger

Six pieces of food

Four pizzas

Two   hamburgers

On their own, pizzas and hamburgers can be counted. When they are together and called 'food', they can not be counted. 

food countable uncountable

There is a lot of food on the table. - Correct

There is a lot of food s on the table. - Incorrect

'Food' is uncountable and so 'foods' is incorrect.

food countable uncountable

This is what you need to make Mexican food. - Correct

This is what you need to make Mexican food s . - Incorrect

food countable uncountable

When I go to a pub, I have snack food.  - Correct

When I go to a pub, I have snack food s . - Incorrect

There are lots of different types of food here but 'food' is uncountable so it is without the 's'.

Food and the countable form 'pieces'

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Five pieces of food

Image by Kelly Jean

Lots of pieces of food

'Piece' can be counted (one piece, two pieces, three pieces, some pieces etc.) but 'food' remains uncountable.

Is 'furniture' countable or uncountable?

 - 'Furniture' is uncountable. Let's look at why.

One piece of furniture

Four chairs

Two   tables

Two pieces of furniture

Six pieces of furniture

Furniture is a noun which describes things in the home. Chairs, tables, sofas, beds, wardrobes etc are pieces of furniture.

furniture countable uncountable

There's a lot of furniture.

furniture countable uncountable

There's a little furniture.

Both these pictures have furniture. One has more than the other but we still use the uncountable noun 'furniture'. We never say 'furniture s '.

'Pieces' of furniture

furniture countable uncountable

There are two chairs and one table in the room. COUNTABLE ITEMS

There are three pieces of furniture in the room. COUNTABLE FORM

There is some furniture in the room. UNCOUNTABLE

furniture countable uncountable

There are six chairs, one sofa and two lamps in the room.

There are nine pieces of furniture in the room.

There is a lot of furniture in the room. 

Other example sentences

I need to buy a lot of new furniture for my new house.

I'm looking at some new furniture for my bedroom. What do you recommend?

Old furniture is my favourite. I love the dated look.

Wooden furniture is the best, but only dark wood.

I have to make all the flat-pack furniture that came yesterday. I'm going to be tired tomorrow.

Is 'homework' countable or uncountable?

- 'Homework' is uncountable. Let's look at why.

One piece of English homework

One piece of maths homework

Three piece s of English homework

Four piece s of maths homework

The countable form of homework is 'piece'.

Conversation

Mum: Did you get any homework today?

Son: Yes, I got two pieces of English and some maths.

Mum: When are they due?

Son: The maths is for tomorrow and the English is for next Monday.

Breaking the conversation down

Mum is asking if her son if he received homework. 'Any' is used to prompt a more specific answer - not just 'yes' or 'no'.

The son replies with the countable form of 'homework' (pieces) for English and the uncountable determiner for maths (some). We do not know if there is one piece, two pieces, or more. We do know there is not a lot.

Mum asks when the pieces of homework should be given back to the teachers.

The maths homework is due for tomorrow and the English homework (two pieces but IT IS NOT 'homeworks') is due next Monday.

Incorrect examples

I have four homework s due tomorrow.

She has not done her three homework s .

My teacher gave me three maths homework s and two science homework s .

Correct examples

I have four pieces of homework due tomorrow.

She has not done her three pieces of homework.

My teacher gave me three pieces of maths homework and two pieces of science homework.

You can play when you've finished all your homework.

Did you get much homework today?

I hate Mr. Simpson - he always gives at least two pieces of homework per day.

Doing homework will never be fun.

If I don't understand the homework, I ask my older brother.  

Is 'fruit' countable or uncountable?

- Fruit is uncountable. Let's see why:

One piece of fruit

Two pieces of fruit

Four  apples

Four pieces of fruit

Three  strawberries

Three pieces of fruit

Eight pieces of fruit

The countable form of fruit is 'piece'.

fruit uncountable

There is a lot of fruit.

fruit uncountable

There is some fruit.

fruit uncountable

There are three piece of fruit

A: Can I have some fruit please?

B: How many pieces to do want?

A: Can I have three apples, one pineapple and a few oranges?

B: Here you go.

A: Did you buy any fruit?

B: Yes, I got a few pieces.

A: What type of fruit did you buy?

B: I got three peaches.

A: Oh, lovely.

Fruit is my favourite dessert to have. It's so refreshing.

What kind of fruit do you like?

Would you like a piece of fruit? I've got some delicious pears today.

You never put tomato in a fruit salad!

I make a smoothie every morning using lots of different fruit. 

'Furniture', 'Homework' and 'Fruit' are uncountable nouns. 

They are words for groups of different items .

Two chairs and one table is a group of furniture.

There is a lot of fruit .

NOTE: there are lots of pieces of fruit. Fruit is the name of a group of items, like apples, pears, bananas etc.

One chair, one table and two sofas is a group of furniture.

There is some fruit .

NOTE: there are three pieces of fruit. Fruit is the name of a group of items, like apples, pears, bananas etc.

More examples

Clothes is an uncountable noun. It is used to describe a group of different items.

The countable form is 'piece' or 'item'.

clothes uncountable

There are a lot of clothes.

There are about 25 pieces of clothes.

clothes uncountable

There are not a lot of clothes.

There are three pieces of clothes.

Sushi is an uncountable noun. It is the game of a group of different items.

The countable form is 'piece'.

sushi uncountable

There are six pieces of sushi. = COUNTABLE FORM

There is some sushi. = UNCOUNTABLE

sushi uncountable

There are 12 pieces of sushi. = COUNTABLE FORM

There is a lot of sushi. = UNCOUNTABLE

sushi uncountable

There is one piece of sushi. = COUNTABLE FORM

There is not a lot of sushi. = UNCOUNTABLE

  • A1-A2 grammar

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.

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:

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 are n't many potatoes. There's lots of juice but there is n't much water.

Go to Countable and uncountable nouns 2 to learn more.

Try this exercise to test your grammar again.

Countable and uncountable nouns 1: Grammar test 2

Language level

Hello, I want to ask a question.Can I answer 'any' in Grammar Test 2 No.7. Why is the answer 'any shirt'?

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Hello Aung Qui,

'any shirt' is not correct in that sentence. When there's a negative meaning, we use 'a' with singular nouns (like 'shirt') and 'any' with plural nouns and countable nouns in a sentence like this.

Best wishes, Kirk LearnEnglish team

Hi Is there any difference between this grammar in American English ?

Hello reza-3x,

I can't think of any differences, but if you had something specific in mind, please let us know.

After I finished the lessons, I completely understood how prepositions come with a noun. This lesson helps me a lot. Thank the authority.

Hello! I also have some question about using 'uncountable and countable' words. Regarding the word 'waste' as a noun, it can be used both 'waste' and 'wastes' for the meaning as unwanted material or substance(e.g.nuclear waste, plastic waste). When you say 'A lot of plastic waste goes into the ocean.', can you also say 'Lots of plastic wastes go into the ocean.' or 'A lot of platic wastes go into the ocean.'? I am quite confused what makes a real difference between plastic 'waste' and plastic 'wastes'.

Thank you for your advice!

Hello lily7983,

Waste is usually an uncountable noun and we modify it with quantifiers that go with uncountable nouns: a lot of, a great deal of, some, a little etc.

Wastes (plural) is unusual, but it does exist to describe types of waste. The Cambridge Dictionary gives this example: Oil spills are common, as is the dumping of toxic industrial wastes .

I would not say 'plastic wastes' unless in context you are very specifically talking about a number of different types of plastic waste.

The LearnEnglish Team

I have trouble understanding the punctuation applied by some writers, which is inconsistent with what I learned from grammar books. For instance, I learned that a comma should be placed before coordinating conjunctions such as 'and' and 'but.' However, why is a period sometimes placed before them?

I have another question, too. Which of the following is grammatically correct?

People don't have a good life.

People don't have good lives.

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  • English Only

Homework - singular or plural?

  • Thread starter Mr_Croft
  • Start date Nov 19, 2007
  • Nov 19, 2007

cuchuflete

Senior Member

I haven't ( have not) done it. It is singular. My homework is singular. It names the collective tasks I have to do. Bienvenido mr_Croft! Note: Some dictionaries describe this noun as "uncountable". There are many threads here about uncountable nouns. You may find them by using the forum Search feature, or by looking up the word "uncountable" in the WordReference English dictionary. It will display threads with that word in the title: Forum discussions with the word(s) 'uncountable' in the title: Countable and uncountable, depending on context! Countable, uncountable: asparagus Countable, uncountable: homework Uncountable nouns - an exercise is the word "cheese" uncountable? Countable, uncountable: mail, e-mail Countable, uncountable: broccoli, orange Countable, uncountable: advice, bread, cabbage, hair, onions Countable, uncountable: chocolate, chocolates Countable, uncountable: food Countable, uncountable: news Two uncountable nouns become plural? Countable, uncountable: peanuts, people Should the verb be singular or plural after two uncountable nouns? Countable and uncountable, depending on context! uncountable luck Biker, Sponsor: UNCOUNTABLE??? is or are with a list of uncountable Countable, uncountable: help Countable, uncountable: snow Two types of uncountable nouns. the use of articles with uncountable nouns Countable, uncountable: patience "Advice" - uncountable??? Tip (countable or uncountable)  

panjandrum

The last time we talked about this, everyone but me said that homework is not countable. Countable, uncountable: homework But in this particular example, even I would say: I haven't done my homework. Have you done your homework? I haven't done it yet. - - - even if I have homework to do in several different subjects.  

Cambridge Dictionary

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Nouns: countable and uncountable

Countable nouns.

Some nouns refer to things which, in English, are treated as separate items which can be counted. These are called countable nouns. Here are some examples:

a car , three cars
my cousin , my two cousins
a book , a box full of books
a city , several big cities

Singular and plural

Countable nouns can be singular or plural. They can be used with a/an and with numbers and many other determiners (e.g. these, a few ):

She’s got two sisters and a younger brother .
Most people buy things like cameras and MP3-players online these days .
These shoes look old now.
I’ll take a few magazines with me for the flight .

Determiners ( the, my , some , this )

Singular and plural nouns

Uncountable nouns

In English grammar, some things are seen as a whole or mass. These are called uncountable nouns, because they cannot be separated or counted.

Some examples of uncountable nouns are:

Ideas and experiences: advice, information, progress, news, luck, fun, work

Materials and substances: water, rice, cement, gold, milk

Weather words: weather, thunder, lightning, rain, snow

Names for groups or collections of things: furniture, equipment, rubbish, luggage

Other common uncountable nouns include: accommodation, baggage, homework, knowledge, money, permission, research, traffic, travel .

These nouns are not used with a/an or numbers and are not used in the plural.

We’re going to get new furniture for the living room.
Not: We’re going to get a new furniture for the living room . or We’re going to get new furnitures for the living room .
We had terrible weather last week.
Not: We had a terrible weather last week .
We need rice next time we go shopping.

Some nouns always have plural form but they are uncountable because we cannot use numbers with them.

I bought two pairs of trousers .
Not: I bought two trousers .

Other nouns of this type are: shorts, pants, pyjamas, glasses (for the eyes), binoculars, scissors .

Some nouns which are uncountable in English are countable in other languages (e.g. accommodation, advice, furniture, information ):

They can give you some information about accommodation at the tourist office.
Not: They can give you some informations about accommodations at the tourist office .
Can you give me some advice about buying a second-hand car?
Not: Can you give me some advices about buying a second-hand car?

A good learner’s dictionary will tell you whether a noun is countable or uncountable.

Quantity expressions ( a bit/piece )

To refer to one or more quantities of an uncountable noun , expressions such as a bit of, a piece of , an item of or words for containers and measures must be used:

He bought a very expensive piece of furniture for his new apartment.
Maggie always has some exciting bits of news when she comes to see us.
I think we’ll need five bags of cement for the patio.
There’s a litre of milk in the fridge for you. And I bought you a bar of chocolate .

Determiners ( my, some, the )

Uncountable nouns can be used with certain determiners (e.g. my, her , some, any , no , the, this, that ) and expressions of quantity (e.g. a lot of, (a) little ):

They gave me some information about courses and scholarships and things.
Have you heard the news ? Fran’s getting engaged.
She’s been studying hard and has made a lot of progress .
There’s no work to do here, so you can go home if you like.
This milk ’s a bit old, I’m afraid.

Countable phrases for uncountable nouns

We can sometimes use countable noun phrases to talk about an individual example of the thing an uncountable noun refers to.

Finding a place to live is difficult if you’re a student and you’ve got no money. (or Finding accommodation … )
Not: Finding an accommodation …
She brought two big suitcases and a rucksack with her.
Not: She brought two big luggages …
I read a poem once about someone riding a horse at night.
Not: I read a poetry …
We went on a trip to the Amazon when we were in Brazil.
Not: We went on a travel …

Countable and uncountable nouns with different meanings

Some nouns can be used either countably or uncountably, but with different meanings.

Uncountable nouns used countably

Measures and examples.

Sometimes uncountable nouns are used countably, to mean ‘a measure of something’ or ‘a type or example of something’:

Can I have two teas and one coffee , please? (two cups of tea and one cup of coffee …?)
A: How many sugars do you want in your tea? (How many spoonfuls/lumps of sugar?) B: Just one, please .
To some degree we tend to eat the foods that we ate as children. (i.e. types of food)

Abstract nouns

Some abstract nouns can be used uncountably or countably. The uncountable use has a more general meaning. The countable use has a more particular meaning.

Nouns of this type include: education, experience, hatred, help, knowledge, life, love, sleep, time, understanding .

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homework is uncountable noun

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Homework: Countable vs Uncountable Nouns

job/work, suitcase/luggage...

Intermediate

Furniture or furnitures? Advice or advices? It’s not always easy to know whether a word is countable or not, especially when it’s relatively new to you. Being able to do so is, nevertheless essential, so it’s important that students come to recognise the words that cannot be pluralised and therefore always appear in the same form. This handy homework sheet helps students practise Countable and Uncountable Nouns in three different ways.

After downloading your PDF: print it immediately or save and print later. Answers are provided for teachers on the second page.

Make your own worksheets with the free EnglishClub Worksheet Maker !

IMAGES

  1. Uncountable Noun: Definition And List Of 450 Useful Uncountable Nouns 1EC

    homework is uncountable noun

  2. 100 Examples of Common Uncountable Nouns

    homework is uncountable noun

  3. is homework countable noun? or is it uncountable?

    homework is uncountable noun

  4. Countable Nouns And Uncountable Nouns Worksheet

    homework is uncountable noun

  5. Lesson 5. Homework. Countable and uncountable nouns

    homework is uncountable noun

  6. Countable and Uncountable Nouns: Useful Rules & Examples

    homework is uncountable noun

VIDEO

  1. March 5, 2024

  2. work Day

  3. Countable and Uncountable Nouns & Features

  4. Uncountable Noun

  5. 8_an uncountable noun and 'the'

  6. 'The'के uncountable noun के साथ use कैसे होता है?@

COMMENTS

  1. nouns

    Add a comment. 3. Traditionally, it is not countable, and most dictionaries list it as such. However, the Merriam-Webster thesaurus (although not the Merriam-Webster dictionary) does have an entry for homeworks. Moreover, the plural form is used by at least some groups of educated native speakers. One's best bet is to try to find out if one's ...

  2. Nouns: countable and uncountable

    Nouns: countable and uncountable - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary

  3. homework

    GRAMMAR: Countable or uncountable? • Homework is an uncountable noun and is not used in the plural. You say: The teacher gave us a lot of homework. Don't say: The teacher gave us a lot of homeworks. • Homework is always followed by a singular verb. The homework was really difficult.

  4. countability

    In the US "homework" is considered to be a "mass" noun and articles are not used. (May be different in the UK or India.) ... Rest assured that "homework" remains an uncountable noun. Share. Improve this answer. Follow answered Jan 13, 2016 at 3:57. Benjamin Harman Benjamin Harman. 2,393 9 9 silver badges 11 11 bronze badges. 2. 1.

  5. Countable or uncountable, and why it matters

    The teacher gave us a homework. ('homework' is an uncountable noun) We have lots of homeworks. If you have countable and uncountable nouns in your own language, you need to be very careful because they may not be the same ones. If I had £1 for every time one of my students has said or written 'an advice' or 'some informations', I ...

  6. PDF Using Countable and Uncountable Nouns

    Some uncountable nouns like work, homework, money, and gossip are very confusing for learners of English because they seem to refer to particular items, yet they are treated as general activities. When we speak of work, we are not thinking of a particular job or activity—we include the idea of what anyone might do in any job that would be considered doing work.

  7. homework noun

    The homework assignments are worth 10% of the final grade. I have some homework to do on the Civil War. I want you to hand in this homework on Friday. The science teacher always gives a lot of homework. They get a lot of homework in English. They get masses of homework at secondary school. We had to write out one of the exercises for homework.

  8. homework noun

    1 work that is given by teachers for students to do at home I still haven't done my geography homework. How much homework do you get? I have to write up the notes for homework. compare classwork Topic Collocations Education learning. acquire/get/lack experience/training/(an) education; receive/provide somebody with training

  9. homework

    Noun [ edit] homework (usually uncountable, plural homeworks) Exercises assigned by a teacher to a student which review concepts studied in class . You must do your homework before you can watch television. 2013 July 1, Peter Wilby, "Finland's education ambassador spreads the word", in The Guardian ‎ [1], archived from the original on ...

  10. Uncountable Nouns

    Uncountable Nouns: Uncountable nouns (also called noncount nouns and mass nouns) are nouns that: cannot be counted. cannot be made plural. are not usually used with the articles "a" or "an". cannot be used alone with numbers. We cannot "count" uncountable nouns by themselves. For example , we cannot count sugar by itself.

  11. Rules for countable and uncountable nouns (with examples)

    An uncountable noun (also called a mass noun or a non-count noun) is a noun naming something that cannot be counted in English using standard numbers. These nouns cannot be made plural. Examples of uncountable nouns include rice, money, advice, news, and happiness. We cannot have one rice, five monies, two advices, or a happiness.

  12. Nouns

    Conclusion. 'Furniture', 'Homework' and 'Fruit' are uncountable nouns. They are words for groups of different items. Two chairs and one table is a group of furniture. There is a lot of fruit. NOTE: there are lots of pieces of fruit. Fruit is the name of a group of items, like apples, pears, bananas etc. One chair, one table and two sofas is a ...

  13. Nouns: countable and uncountable

    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.

  14. nouns

    1. But if you set thirty exercises as homework then one 'unit' of homework would be thirty exercises, so 'exercise' isn't the unit for 'the homework received from one pupil'. - Pete Kirkham. Aug 9, 2018 at 15:01. @PeteKirkham All in all, "One exercise" can be a "Piece of homework" or "A part of assignment" .

  15. PDF Nouns— Countable & Noncountable

    number in front of an noncountable noun. For instance, you could accurately state that you had one bowl of rice, but you cannot accurately state that you had one rice. Countable nouns may be preceded by a/an or one in the singular form. They also take a final s/es if the noun is plural. A table One table Noncountable nouns are not preceded by a ...

  16. Did "homework "have countable form?

    Homework is an uncountable noun, therefore it should be modified by much or a lot of, not many. Because it is an uncountable noun and is not used in the plural as it is always singular. I don't have much homework today The teacher gave us a lot of homework. Tim has four pieces of homework to complete for today.

  17. Homework

    It is singular. My homework is singular. It names. the collective tasks I have to do. Bienvenido mr_Croft! Note: Some dictionaries describe this noun as "uncountable". There are many threads here about uncountable nouns. You may find them by using the forum Search feature, or by looking up the word "uncountable" in the WordReference English ...

  18. PDF Primary Grammar: Countable, Uncountable

    Uncountable nouns are for things we cannot count with numbers. Uncountable verbs do not have a plural form. You can ask how much… when combined with an uncountable noun. water air rice ice cream time homework When using uncountable nouns, we need to say the exact measurement or use a word/expression like îsome ï, îa lot of ï, îmuch.

  19. Uncountable Nouns

    EnglishClub: Learn English: Grammar: Nouns: Countable Nouns: Uncountable Nouns Uncountable Nouns. Unlike countable nouns, uncountable nouns are substances, concepts etc that we cannot divide into separate elements. We cannot "count" them. For example, we cannot count "milk". We can count "bottles of milk" or "litres of milk", but we cannot count "milk" itself.

  20. Nouns: countable and uncountable

    Nouns: countable and uncountable - gramática inglés y uso de palabras en "English Grammar Today" - Cambridge University Press

  21. Homework: Countable vs Uncountable Nouns

    This handy homework sheet helps students practise Countable and Uncountable Nouns in three different ways. After downloading your PDF: print it immediately or save and print later. Answers are provided for teachers on the second page. Make your own worksheets with the free EnglishClub Worksheet Maker! Printable downloadable PDF homework on ...