1.3 Count and Noncount Nouns

Nouns that name separate things or people that you can count are called count nouns. Nouns that name things that cannot be counted unless additional words are added are called noncount nouns. You need to understand count and noncount nouns in order to use the nouns correctly with articles, in singular and plural formations, and in other situations. Some nouns can serve as either count or noncount nouns.

Examples of Count Nouns

  • box(es)
  • dog(s)
  • house(s)
  • leaf (leaves)
  • moon(s)
  • peach(es)
  • sheep
  • women

Examples of Noncount Nouns

  • advice
  • cheese
  • equipment
  • furniture
  • information
  • Internet
  • mail
  • weather

Examples of Nouns That Can Be Either Count or Noncount Nouns

  • baseball (play baseball vs. throw a baseball)
  • love (He is my love! vs. two loves: poetry and basketball)
  • marble (play with a marble vs. a floor made of marble)

Adapted from Appendix A, “Writing for Nonnative English Speakers” in Writer’s Handbook v 1.0  used according to Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

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