Use of English Topic: Countable and uncountable Nouns

Use of English Topic: Countable and uncountable Nouns

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By Mark Nkworji

Countable nouns are nouns you can number, feel, see and touch.
Regular countable nouns can become plural with the addition of “s”, “es” or “ies” .E.g. school= schools, table= tables, box=boxes, lorry= lorries etc while irregular countable nouns become plural through inflection that is change in spelling.
E.g. Man= men, mouse=mice, child=children. Other category of irregular countable nouns remain unchanged in spelling. They share the same spelling both in singular and plural forms. E.g. Staff( personnel) = staff in plural, sheep=sheep, electorate= electorate etc.
Uncountable nouns are on the other hand are nouns that we can not count E.g. air, advice, sand, hair etc.
We also have another category of uncountable nouns. These are mass nouns. Though we can see or feel them but they can not be counted E.g. Furniture, equipment, information etc
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Take note.

Plural verbs while functioning as the subject of a sentence take a plural predicate (verb) , uncountable nouns always take a singular verb in the simple present tense.

E.g. The boys come to my house every day. correct. In the above sentence, boys is plural subject taking a plural predicate”come” to give you the correct grammar called Grammatical Concord. Or The boy comes to my house every day. Correct. In this example, a singular subject (boy) takes a singular predicate (comes) in the simple present tense. In the two examples, there is harmony (concord/agreement) between two word classes (noun and verb) and the result is a correct grammar.

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Note also that uncountable nouns can only take a singular verbs. E.g. There is much grey hair on the old man’s head. Though there is much grey hair on the old man’s hair, you can not say hairs because hair is an uncountable noun.

Please, practice the exercise ahead of the next edition.

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