English for Beginners: Countable & Uncountable Nouns

English for Beginners: Countable & Uncountable Nouns

Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video I’m going to
teach you about countable and uncountable nouns. We can also call these “count
nouns” and “non-count nouns”. So, let’s begin by first
talking about: What is a noun? So, a noun is a word
that is a person… It can be a person, so: “Emma”, that’s
a noun; “teacher”, that’s a noun. It can be a place. “Russia” is a noun. “School” is a noun. It can be an animal; a dog. “Dog” is a noun. The word “cat” is a noun. It can also be a thing. This marker… The word “marker” is a noun. Okay? And it can also be a feeling. “Happiness” is a noun. So, a noun is a person, a place,
a thing, an object, an animal. There are many things
that are nouns. What a noun is not is it’s not an action,
like a verb; it’s not a description, like an adjective; and it’s not a preposition,
like the word “on” or “off”. Okay? A noun is, like I’ve said
before, one of these things. So, in English… Well, actually, first
let’s do something. Let’s underline the nouns just to
make sure we have this concept. So, my first sentence is:
“Canada is a large country.” So let’s underline
the nouns, here. Well, “Canada” is a place, so we know “Canada”
is a noun; “is” is a verb; “large” – this is a description; “country”. “Country” is a place;
this is also a noun. “My teacher is funny”. “Teacher” is a person, so this is a noun;
“funny” is a description, it’s an adjective, it’s not a noun. “The dog”, so we have “dog” is an animal;
“cats”, “cats” are nouns; and we have the word, here, “friends”. The word “friend”
is also a noun. Okay? So, these are all nouns. So, in English, we have two types of nouns; we
have countable nouns and we have uncountable nouns. It’s important to know if a noun is countable
or uncountable, because this is going to tell us if we use words, like: “a” in front of the
word, and it will also tell us which words we cannot use with these words. So… And whether or not we need to add an “s”
to the end of the noun if there’s more than one. So, in this video, we are going to talk about countable
nouns with many examples and uncountable nouns. So, let’s look at
countable nouns first. Okay, so we’re going to start
with countable nouns first. So, the first thing you need to know with a
countable noun is when we have a countable noun, we need to put an “a”
or an “an” in front of it. So, for example: “I have a dog. I have a computer. I have a lamp. I have a chair.” So, notice I’m putting “a”
in front of all of these. If the noun starts with a vowel sound, so
for example: “a” is a vowel, “e”, “i”, “o”, “u” – these are all vowels. And if it starts with a vowel
sound, then we use “an”. “I have an apple. I have an egg. I have an ant.” Okay? So, we use this if the first… The first sound of
the word is a vowel. So, the second thing you need to know is that
with countable nouns a lot of the time we can count them. Okay? So we can often… A countable noun is something
you can count, or… Usually it’s something, or an animal, or,
you know, a place – it’s something you can count. So, for example:
“I have a book.” This is one book. “I have two books.”,
“I have three books.” So, this… You can count books and
it’s a countable noun. “I have two chairs. I have five dresses.” These are all countable nouns. When we have more than one countable noun,
so for example, here we have one, here we have two. If we have more than one-so two, three,
four, five, six-we need to add an “s”. This shows us that there
is more than one. And also notice that we don’t need
this in front of the noun anymore. So, we cannot say: “a books”, because the “s”
means there’s more than one, so this would not match.
Okay. What else do we need? So, we need an “s” or an “es” if we have more
than one of this type of object or noun. Here’s another example: “I have one
sister.”, “I have three sisters.” So, notice here, you can count the number of
sisters I have, and so I’ve added an “s”. Now, we have some exceptions. For example, the word “moose”. You can count the number of
moose, but we never add an “s”. It’s… It’s a strange exception. In English, you’ll notice we
have a lot of exceptions. We break rules a lot of times
in English and that’s okay. It’s the same with “fish”. You can count the number
of fish, but we don’t… You change this word if
there’s more than one. I can’t say: “I
have five fishes.” Okay? I would say: “I have five fish.” So, sometimes there are exceptions
with count nouns or countable nouns. Now let’s look at: What is an uncountable
noun, and how is it different? Okay, so we’ve talked about countable nouns;
now we’re going to talk about uncountable nouns or we can call
them non-count nouns. Okay? So that means the same thing. An uncountable noun is a noun where you
do not use “a” or “an” in front of it. Okay? So, for example, an uncountable
noun is “happiness”. I do not say: “a happiness”. Okay, so that’s no. So, we do not use “a” or “an”. We also don’t add “s” or “es”. Okay? And the reason we don’t add “s” or “es” is
because the idea of uncountable is you can’t count it. Now, there are many exceptions to this, but
in general, an uncountable noun is something you can’t really count. So I want you to think, for
example, of happiness. Can you count happiness? Can you say: “One happiness, two
happiness; my friend has five happiness”? You can’t really count it. It’s the same with words, like:
“sadness” or with, you know, “stress”. These are things that are abstract and
they’re things you can’t really count. Okay? So, because of that, we do not add
“s” or “es” to uncountable words. Another thing you’ll find with uncountable
words, and this is where it kind of gets a bit tricky, is a lot of uncountable
nouns are actually categories. So, for example: “furniture”
is an uncountable noun. In English, you don’t
count furniture. So, you would… You would not add an “s” to the word
“furniture”; it’s always the same. “I have furniture at my house.” I do not say: “I
have a furniture.” No. In English, you can’t do that. You say: “I have furniture.” There is no “a” or “an”. It’s the same with
the word “clothes”. “Clothes” never changes;
it always stays the same. I cannot say: “I
have a clothes.” I cannot say: “I
have four clothes.” Okay? In English, we can’t do this, and
this is because these are categories. It’s the same with “money”. And a lot of students get really frustrated
with this, because in their language, you can count these things. So, I understand that and I understand, you
know, languages are very different, but in English you cannot count these
things in the same way. They’re considered categories. So, in English, I cannot
say: “I have five money.” And I also don’t add
an “s” to “money”. It always stays the same. I can say: “I have a lot of money” or “I have
no money”, but I can’t actually put a number in front of money. So, what can you do is… We’re looking at categories, there, but within
each category there are things you can count. So, for example: “furniture” is uncountable,
but tables, chairs, desks, refrigerators, ovens – these are all
things we can count. So, “furniture” does not have an “s”, but
these other words do within the category. “Clothes”, again, we never change it; it always
is the same, but types of clothes we can have as countable. So, we can have five
dresses, you know, 10 socks. So, you can count
a lot of clothes. With “money”, we don’t… Like I said, we don’t add an
“s”, but we can count coins. Okay? So we can count coins. “I have five coins. I have seven bills.” So, within the category, you can count, but
the category itself we cannot put an “s” on that because it is
an uncountable noun. A lot of the times different types of food and
different types of drinks are also uncountable. So, for example: “milk”. We do not count milk. In English, we can’t
say: “I have one milk. I have six milk.” What we can do is we can add a container to
this word or we can add an amount, so that’s okay. So, what we can say is:
“I have a glass of milk.” Okay? Or: “I have five glasses of milk.”,
“I have two cups of milk.” So, “milk” itself never changes, but
the quantity or the amount can. It’s the same with,
for example, “juice”. “I have eight cups of juice”,
but “juice” itself… The word “juice”, we can
never say “juices”. Okay? So that… It doesn’t change because
it’s an uncountable noun. And we’ll look at more examples of
this in full sentences in a moment. “Mustard” or “ketchup”,
these are more examples. We do not say: “I have
10 or 20 mustards.” No. We can’t count this, so we always keep it the
same; or we can add a container or a quantity. “I have five bottles
of mustard.” Okay? So… And it’s the same with
these words, too. “I have 10 pieces of furniture.” So, we can put a quantity in front, but the
actual word itself is an uncountable noun. So, let’s look at more
examples of this. Okay, so we’re going to do a little bit of
practice; but before we begin, I want to again say that there are many, many exceptions to
what I am saying, meaning usually this is… What I’m telling you is the truth or what
I’m telling you is accurate, but every so often there are some words that are
not going to follow these rules. Okay? So, when you come across these words, just
remember: Don’t get frustrated; English is not a perfect language and not everything
follows the rules, but we’re trying our best. So, let’s look at some of these nouns and
I want you to tell me: Are they countable or uncountable? The first one is “English”. English is a thing, it’s
a language, it’s a noun. Can we count English? Okay? Would we say: “I
have a English”? Can I say: “Englishes”? No. So, “English” is uncountable. Okay? It never changes; it
always stays the same. You can say: “I like English.” There is no “a” in
front of “English”. What about “student”? Can you count student? Teachers do this all the time; they count
the number of students in their class. “There are 10 students in my class”,
so “students” is countable. So, if I want to
count students… Maybe there are five students,
so I could put a five here. And if there’s more than one, what do
I have to do with a countable noun? We add an “s”: “students”. What about this word: “bottle”? Okay? Like, a bottle of water. Can you count bottles? Yes, you can. So, we consider
“bottles” countable. “I have one bottle.”,
“I have five bottles.” Okay? So, in this case, imagine I have
one, I can say: “I have a bottle.” It’s a countable noun. “Water”. Can we count water? “Water” is considered
uncountable. Okay? Now, you might be yelling at your
computer, saying: “But I can count water! I can!” And you might have water, here,
and say: “Look, this is a water.” But this is actually not a water;
this is a bottle of water. “Water” itself we don’t count. We count water in bottles,
or in litres, or in jugs. So, “water” itself
is uncountable. We do not add an “s”. Okay. It is uncountable. But “bottle” or “a bottle of
water” is something we can count. “Cellphone”. Can we count cellphones? Cellphones are countable;
they are a countable noun. So, if we have more
than one cellphone… If we have two cellphones, we’re
very lucky – we can add an “s”. What about “shoe”? “Shoe”, we can
actually say “shoes”. Shoes are countable. “I have shoes.” Okay? I have… “I have one shoe. Here are two shoes, three shoes,
four shoes”, so we can count shoes. We often talk about “a pair of shoes”, but
we can also count shoes individually. What about “sadness”? Can you count sadness? Can you say: “Oh, that man, he’s really
sad – look, he has 100 sadnesses”? No. We cannot count sadness;
it’s a feeling. It’s something we
can’t really count. This is uncountable,
so we do not add “a”. Okay. I can say: “I have sadness”;
there’s no “a” in front of it. Last one we’re going to
look at here: “coffee”. So, coffee… Remember food… Or food and drinks are
often uncountable. We can talk about a cup of coffee,
but we’re counting the cup. Coffee itself we
consider uncountable. So, usually we don’t
say “coffees”. Okay, but again, there’s always
exceptions and sometimes people use… You know, they might go to a
restaurant and actually… They might say: “I’ll have a coffee”,
so you might actually hear that. It’s going against the grammar rule, but
people are starting to say things like that. I don’t want to confuse you more, but in terms
of the grammar rule, “coffee” is uncountable. Okay? So now let’s look at a couple other words we
use which are important when we’re learning about countable and uncountable. Okay, so we’ve talked about
countable and uncountable nouns. Now, there are some words we use with only
countable nouns and other words we use only with uncountable nouns. So, right now we’re going to
learn about “many” and “much”. So, let’s start with “many”
because it’s a little easier. “Many” is used with countable
nouns, and it means a lot. So, for example: “I
have a lot of friends. I have many friends.” So, it’s when we’re not
giving a specific number. “I have five friends” I can say, but I
can also say: “I have many friends.” Maybe I have 10 dogs. That’s not true,
but imagine that. That’s a lot of dogs, so I
can say: “I have many dogs.” We use “many” for
countable nouns. A way to remember is, like I said before,
you use “an” or “a” with countable nouns, and “many” has “an” in it. That’s a little memory trick. Okay? So if you want to remember: “many” – oh, “an”,
“an”; we use “an” for countable nouns – we use “many” for countable nouns. “Much” is used for
uncountable nouns. So, “much” means the same thing. Okay? It means a lot, and we use
“much” for uncountable. So, for example: “money”. I told you before money is uncountable, so
we could say: “I don’t have much money. I don’t have much furniture. I don’t have much coffee.” Okay? So, “much” is used with
uncountable nouns. Now, a lot of students get really stressed
about this, and they say: “‘Much’, ‘many’, ‘count’, ‘uncountable’ –
ugh, this is terrible. I don’t remember any of it.” Here is the trick. This is good to learn, but if you don’t know
and you’re really stressed, you can use “a lot” for both countable
and uncountable nouns. Okay? So: “I don’t have
a lot of money. I don’t have a lot of friends.”,
“I have a lot of friends. I have a lot of money.” Okay? So, if you don’t know, use this. So, we’ve learned a lot today about countable
and uncountable nouns, and this is something that requires a lot of practice. Okay? So, I invite you to come check out our website
at www.engvid.com, and there you can actually do a quiz where you can practice identifying
countable and uncountable nouns, and using these in sentences. So, I highly recommend
you take our quiz. I also recommend you subscribe to my channel,
because there are a lot more resources on all sorts of different topics, related to
grammar, vocabulary, writing, reading, and many more. So, thank you for watching,
and until next time, take care.


  • Roquetdb

    April 5, 2019

    You're Angel, Thanks! I'm Brazilian!

  • RL FIT

    April 6, 2019

    Thank u Mrs. Emma! This video helped very much. I was with doubts about the subject

  • Chin Chun Wen

    April 10, 2019

    Thanks you teacher. I will never give up…i agree with u that you said English is not for perfect..we just get better!

  • mam's Kane

    April 12, 2019

    Thank you my teacher

  • Gerson albert

    April 12, 2019


  • Jamella Salazar

    April 14, 2019

    thank you ms. emma for sharing this video, this helps me a lot .

  • andres felipe delgado cardozo

    April 15, 2019

    hola} ¡gracias!

  • Beatrice Aliman

    April 16, 2019

    Thanks to you I'm learning a lot of vocabulary

  • Kamal Karkonasasi

    April 20, 2019

    Dear Emma, I truly appreciate your great efforts to improve our English. I have learned a large amount of information about countable and uncountable nouns today. Your explanations were clear, precise and rich. Thank you.

  • dreamer dream

    April 20, 2019

    I m glad cause i found u ! Thanks for ur knowledge that u gave to us. 🌸

  • Elik Halilov

    April 21, 2019

    thank you so much .. you made this lesson easy.. i understood you well

  • Ilidio furtado

    April 24, 2019

    Thanks a lot

  • Sergio Mendes

    April 24, 2019

    Nice class! Thanks you

  • Shreema Pattnaik

    April 24, 2019

    Your voice is very clear. I like the teaching 😊😊

  • Purna chandra Badajena

    April 26, 2019

    Praise worthy

  • Bay Lausa

    April 27, 2019

    Thanks ma'am Emma

  • Marilainny Martins

    April 27, 2019

    Thanks you. I learned so much

  • liz isabella garcia duran

    May 1, 2019

    thanks theacher yoa are the best

  • Chandrakant Bidwe

    May 4, 2019

    Nice Madem

  • Maftuna Isomiddinova

    May 6, 2019

    thanks from Uzbekistan 🇺🇿 🙏

  • Geethu Mohan

    May 6, 2019

    So when u put s/ es that word becomes plural ryt.??? Crct me if am wrong

  • Guaje arroyo

    May 7, 2019

    Just for sharing grammar knowledge, if we add es to the noun fish, then we are referring to different kind of fish

  • Neri Hernandez

    May 12, 2019

    teacher Emma you have Lot everyday for Lot people's I tink you are exelent posición at Word and people's love you

  • Antonia Moser

    May 14, 2019

    thanks from Germany

  • Geeta Parashar

    May 17, 2019

    Your very beautiful

  • Diana M Arango Buitrago

    May 19, 2019

    Gracias profesora!!

  • Johncito E

    May 20, 2019


  • Enrique Barbosa

    May 20, 2019

    Excelent, you are a good teacher, thanks, I love you. Abrazos from Colombia

  • Ahmad Hate

    May 20, 2019

    Really thank U alot …


    May 21, 2019

    Hi Mam, As you say Noun is Name, Place, Animal and Thing, how does happiness fall under one of these? It is an emotion. But why haven't you mention emotion in place of noun?

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    May 22, 2019

    I have 1 bro and 1 sis.
    bro = brother
    sis = sister

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    May 22, 2019

    clothes is originally a plural of cloth.

  • jhonny Vasquez Mendoza

    May 23, 2019

    thanks Miss Emma I learn a lot with your videos. I listen you almost every day .


    May 23, 2019

    Thank you

  • Nelson Vargas

    May 24, 2019

    I love your way of teaching. Thanks a lot.

  • Rosio Rivera

    May 25, 2019


  • Sojib Ahmad

    May 25, 2019

    Thank you

  • youtube schauen

    May 26, 2019

    Thanks from 🇩🇪

  • Deep jyoti assam village boy

    May 31, 2019

    Thank you madam

  • Juhafa Jeore Mujib

    June 1, 2019

    Excellent.from BD

  • Juhafa Jeore Mujib

    June 1, 2019

    Vocabulary upload please

  • A A

    June 1, 2019

    Crazy good technique of teaching! Thanks a lot!

  • Lineth Garcia

    June 2, 2019

    I like you vídeo

  • Lira Smile

    June 7, 2019

    I love you're videos Emma you are explained it simply! 😍😘

  • Dontneedusername

    June 7, 2019

    am not mad at English you mad me mad from apologizing many times for English grammar

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 8, 2019

    fridge = refrigerator

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 8, 2019

    happiness and sadness are abstract nouns.

  • McBeef 1 2 3

    June 11, 2019

    Ich komme aus Deutschland 🇩🇪 Godd morning and thank you for the video

  • Look_around

    June 11, 2019

    This is really useful stuff.

  • Aliyev25

    June 13, 2019

    HI THERE !

  • pankaj bhandari

    June 15, 2019

    Can I say things like

    I have very minimal furniture at my house?
    I need some money.
    You may want to pack some extra clothes.

    though furniture, clothes, and money are an uncountable noun, I have put some quantifiers which sort of giving a sense of counting.

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 17, 2019

    Why do we say an hour instead of a hour if hour starts with a H?

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 17, 2019

    fish isn't uncountable.

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 17, 2019

    We can't count happiness.

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 17, 2019

    wouldn't = would not
    You'd = you would

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 17, 2019

    a lotta = contraction of a lot of

  • Drexel Mildraff

    June 20, 2019

    As for coffee, when people are saying, "I want a coffee", there is an IMPLIED (cup of) before
    the word coffee.

  • Sifat Mahmud

    June 23, 2019

    Thanks Emma . you teach very well . Thank you so much Madam

  • fortfive 10

    June 23, 2019


  • FcKutchawany2play EZXD

    June 26, 2019


  • Martin

    June 27, 2019

    Congratulations Emma, Great Video. I send to you a strong hug, thank you

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 28, 2019

    English as language is uncountable, but if English as a person, it's countable.

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 28, 2019

    shoes are also a pair.

  • GXhchhf Chhchcch

    June 28, 2019

    Much has no "an"!!!

  • Jason Bolster

    June 29, 2019

    Very good work, madam. I give you much love and many cuddles.


    June 30, 2019

    intelligent mentor

  • lazypaper origami tutorials

    July 2, 2019

    – my name –

  • Daniel san

    July 3, 2019

    it is well said in a store for example: give me a coffee? (a cup of coffee)

  • edef33

    July 5, 2019

    Excelente maestra, muchas gracias!

  • Dilshad Saifi

    July 7, 2019

    Thank you so much

  • Zaka Mustafa

    July 13, 2019

    Thanks Emma…. u r really a good teacher. I am very weak in grammar please record detailed lectures on PARTS OF SPEECH.

  • ika husna

    July 14, 2019

    Hi Emma. I just joined your class.

  • Jaime Joel Rivera Granda

    July 17, 2019

    thanks mr.emma por enseñarme un dia antes del examen de ingles

  • med gham

    July 18, 2019

    It's a plaisure to follow your lessons, thanks.

  • Ramphis Espino

    July 19, 2019

    Thank very much, Teacher Emma. I feel more confident when I see your videos.

  • Jasbir Singh Lamba

    July 21, 2019

    thank you

  • A M R

    July 21, 2019

    I am Thai but I learn English with teacher Emma and understand more.
    thank you very much.

  • Neil B.

    July 25, 2019

    I start to visit a correspondence school and try to make my Abitur (Germany). In my first Studentbook about English came this topic and they just explain very short what to do that you know about nouns. So i was in the tasks about that a little bit uncertain about it…but now i understand everything! Thanks! 🙂

  • Barli Riza

    July 25, 2019

    Sorry, this is just a tricky sneak peek. Heheee. We can't count our happiness or our friends happiness, she said. But e.g today I got a new job, accepted to a company. After that I go to a lottery place and I won it. So, today I have two happinesses. LoL. Am I right?

  • Geovanna Segura Corrales

    July 30, 2019

    Thank you!

  • Brian Alcid

    August 4, 2019

    i like it
    and subscribe

  • Maila Nena Sumpay

    August 6, 2019

    Thx u for that example i passs my exam coment pls

  • Alberto Sandia Mago

    August 6, 2019


  • mariale carbo

    August 9, 2019

    Soy de Colombia . Explicas bien

  • Jose Luis Nieto Aguirre

    August 17, 2019

    From now on she will be my favorite teacher…

  • Spica 。

    August 18, 2019

    s means more than one

  • david emerald

    August 18, 2019

    Thanks so much for this lesson. If u can help me with tips for my IELTS exams, i would be very grateful

  • Wilson Santos

    August 19, 2019

    Very good, teacher Emma! You is an excellente teacher English! I learn the difference betwen countable and uncountable nouns. Good work!

  • Marian Nagy

    August 20, 2019


  • Bedo Mohsen

    August 22, 2019

    Wow that's a nice lesson but I'm from Spain

  • Khurram Sharif

    August 24, 2019

    Thanks very nice description

  • Foreigner Boys

    August 24, 2019

    Really great class thanks mam

  • Harry Heck

    August 25, 2019

    "Money" is the weirdest uncountable noun. You should explain that you can count all of the pieces of a category to get a numerical value for the total category.

  • Harry Heck

    August 25, 2019

    Actually you can say "juices" if you are speaking about more than one variety of juice. You can say "the waters" if you a speaking about a plane of water such as a flood or an ocean. You can say "a water" because in many situations it is common to omit the countable noun if it is understood that there is only one measure of water available. Or, the person requesting the portion is implying that any measure (within reason) would be acceptable.

  • S R

    August 29, 2019

    Its basic but useful. Thanks.

  • fong beng

    September 2, 2019

    Hi,Emma teacher,. What's the difference between these sentences?
    A) There is riot in the city.
    B) There is rioting in the city.Thank you.

  • Mo_ PonchΠΠ

    September 5, 2019



    September 5, 2019


  • d3xtr3p

    September 13, 2019

    Thank u very much <3

  • Efrain Cruz

    September 15, 2019

    Hi Emma I just started follow you and I really appreciate the time you dedicate to teach. because you prepare your class, you do a professional class and not boring 🙂


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