Uncount Noun

Uncountable Nouns


Count Nouns

Nouns can be categorized into countable (count) nouns and uncountable (uncount) nouns.

Countable nouns can take the plural form and follow a cardinal number. We can count countable nouns: “submarine” is a countable noun (a submarine, one submarine, two submarines, three submarines).

Uncount Nouns

“Honey” and “sand”, on the other hand, are uncountable nouns; they do not take plural forms. They cannot follow cardinal numbers. And you cannot count them, for all practical purposes.

In previous lessons we looked at singular, count nouns; and plural count nouns.

Here we examine uncount nouns.

Uncount Nouns in Positive Sentences

There is refers to uncount nouns, UCNs, (and singular, count nouns) that exist or are present.

There is a little/some
This/That/It + is + (-)/enough + UCN.
Subject + verb-1(s) lots of/a lot of
too much

Note: Little (vs a little) implies a lack or scarcity.

• I hear some music. Listen.
• There is little hope now of meeting the sales target.
• This is cinnamon; That’s curry powder.
• Not to worry. Humphrey speaks a little Tamil
• Your SUV has lots of power!
• Beam us up…there’s no intelligent life on this planet.

Uncount Nouns in Negative Sentences

There isn’t any/enough
That/This/It + isn’t + much/a lot of+ UCN.
Subject +don’t/doesn’t + verb-1 too much

• Wow! There isn’t any trash on the streets in this city!
• I don’t have any money. I’m flat broke.
• Maya’s company doesn’t provide much training,
except for the technical staff.

Colloquial or “bad” English: They don’t serve no food there—only drinks. I ain’t got any time right now; bye. Mr. Crabapple ain’t got no shampoo.

Yes-No Questions with Uncount Nouns

Is there + (-)/any
Is + this/that/it + enough/much + UCN.
Do/Does + Subject + verb-1a lot of/lots of

How much + uncount noun + is there?

Is there lots of snow here during winter? —>
No, not anymore.
Does Muangchai have enough money? —>
Yes, he’s got enough for another twelve months.
Do you smell smoke? —> Sniff, sniff…yeah…I wonder where it’s coming from.
How much champagne do we need for the party? —> About ten bottles.

What Would You Say? How would you respond?

1. You and your friend are planning a surprise birthday party for your colleague. What does she or he ask you?
2. Kambiz wants attend a university in Montreal. What does he ask his friend who is already living and studying there?
3. Natasha and Boris are going on a vacation trip to Florida. What do they ask each other as they make preparations?

Answer the following questions

Or respond to the following statements with true or false, that’s true, that’s false/not true, I agree, I disagree, yes, no, yes and no, in the middle, some, most, maybe, usually, sometimes, in a way, or it depends.

Say why and give examples. Make any “corrections” if necessary.

1. Is there any litter in your city? Is there much litter where you live?
2. There is too much government regulation, red tape and bureaucracy.
3. There isn’t enough government action and intervention.

4. Does this planet have enough space and natural resources to accommodate 15 billion people?
5. Is there lots of (too much) competition for jobs and housing and mates?
6. The internet presents endless potential, opportunity, and possibilities.

7. Is there lots of money (good money) in science and engineering?
8. There is too much sex on TV—and on people’s minds.
9. There is never enough time to get everything done….but there is always more than enough time to get the most important things done.

10. There is no security in life; only opportunity.
11. My city/country has a large underground/grey/ shadow economy.
12. The media (TV, newspaper, magazines) presents too much negative news.


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