TOEIC Grammar Guide – Count and Non-Count Nouns
Every noun can be counted, but not all nouns are counted the same way. There are two main types of nouns: count nouns and non-count nouns.
Memorize the most common non-count nouns and remember to use singular verbs with these nouns.
All count nouns have a singular and plural form and are used in agreement with singular or plural verbs. Count nouns are things that exist as separate and distinct individual units. Count nouns are generally individual persons, places or objects that can be recognized by our senses.
There will be two proposals submitted to the manager by 2pm.
Each office comes equiped with a computer, a desk and two chairs.
Not all great ideas lead to successful inventions.
Non-count nouns only have one form and are always used in agreement with singular verbs. Many non-count nouns are wholes that cannot be cut into parts or counted individually. Non-count nouns also include most shapeless objects and abstract ideas.
Clothing is one of the common things collected to give to charity.
Water boils to become steam or freezes to become ice.
Efficiency is a characteristic in employees that managers admire.
Although non-count nouns are considered uncountable, there are times when it is necessary to explain how much of it there is or to be able to quantify it in some way. This can be done by using a measurement word or counter in combination with the non-count noun. The most common measurement words are bar, slice, piece, glass, game and cube.
I bought two bars of chocolate.
He had four slices of meat in his sandwich.
This recipe requires one glass of milk.
There are five pieces of luggage in the trunk.
We played three games of tennis.
Some nouns can be a count or non-count noun depending on the meaning of the noun used. Normally the non-count meaning is abstract and general while the count meaning is concrete and specific. Nouns that can be both include light, glass, sound, business, fire, life, noise, space, thought, success, work, war, pleasure.
Noun Type Indicators
Indications of what kind of noun is in a sentence can be determined by the quantity term or article used with the noun: