Countable Nouns

These are people, places or things that you can count.  You can answer the question “How many?” with a number.  For example:

How many strawberries are in each photo?

Strawberries 3

There are three strawberries in the above photo.

Strawberries 6

There are six strawberries in the above photo.

Examples of countable nouns:  apple, book, table, student, dog, tree, shirt

When there is one of something, we useIMG_0890 the article “a” or “an” to introduce it.

In the picture on the right, there are an apple and a lime on the table.

a is used for nouns that begin with consonant sounds ( b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z).      a boy, a car, a doll, a fig tree, a girl, a house, a jacket…

an is used for nouns that begin with vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u)

an apple, an egg, an island, an octopus, an umbrella…


The following are pictures of countable nouns:


There are over 400 apples,IMG_3111 15 bananas, 100 onions, 15 pears, 100 oranges, 30 cantaloupe, 70 peaches, 12 melons, 20 green peppers, 20 red peppers, 60 nectarines, 100 plums and 50 mangoes in the picture on the right!

IMG_0441 IMG_3523

There are 5 tomatoes on the cutting board.  There are 2 custards on the plate.

Farmer's Market - Green Granny Smith Farmer's Market - Red Apples

How many granny smith apples do you count?  How many royal gala apples are there?

You can probably count about 45 granny smith apples (green) in the above picture.

There are maybe 50 or 60 royal gala apples (red) visible in the above picture.

IMG_0422 IMG_0413

How many carrots are on the cutting board?  How many waters are in the pot?

There are 6 carrots on the cutting board.  You can’t count water!



Uncountable Nouns

These are things that cannot be counted.  No one can agree on what 1 unit is.

For example, how much oil is in the pan?

Oil in Pan

There is some oil in the pan.  There is a little oil in the pan.  There are four oils in the pan.

Liquids and gases are uncountable.


Soup: count the container.

IMG_0456 IMG_0482

There is one pot of soup on the stovetop.  There is one bowl of soup on the table.

There is one soup.

Wine: count the container.


The above picture shows one glass of red wine on the countertop.


Berlin Mint Zucchini  Parmesan Cheese

There are some cheese shavings on the pasta.  There is a chunk of cheese on the cutting board.

We also consider some things uncountable when nobody wants to count them:

Pasta in Pot Mint Leaves

How many spaghetti are there?  (don’t count them!)  How much mint is there?

There is a pound (weight) of spaghetti in the pot of boiling water.

There is a quarter cup (measurement) of mint on the cutting board.


Other examples:  air, water, sugar, oil, rice, fruit, work, happiness, furniture, energy, clothes, soup





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