Noncount Nouns

Noncount nouns name ideas or qualities that you, uh cannot count… or at least that you can't count easily. These are words like "sand" (who wants to count all those grains?) or mud (how do you even count mud? it's just… everywhere.)

They usually sound weird if you try to pluralize them by adding -s to them. Go ahead and try with the examples listed below.

Here are some examples of noncount nouns:
- luggage
- oxygen
- happiness
- chemistry
- postage
- rain



"As the snow fell, the traffic steadily increased, and Dominique knew she'd never get home in time to finish her homework."

Snow, traffic, and homework are all things you can't count. That makes them noncount nouns. (Clever name, eh?)

"My lawyer gives me terrible advice."

Advice is a noncount noun since you can't count it. Sounds like you can't really count on your lawyer, either.

"When he checked out, Ross took all of the shampoo and soap from his hotel room."

Neither shampoo nor soap has a definite form, so you can't really count them… even if you can count individual bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. (Yep, bottle is a count noun.)


Common mistakes

Noncount nouns almost always have no plural form, so you should treat them as singular nouns and pair them with singular verbs.


"The rain are washing my filthy car for me."


"The rain is washing my filthy car for me."

The first sentence is incorrect because it pairs rain, which is a singular noncount noun, with are, which is a plural verb. The second sentence is correct because both the noun (rain) and the verb (is) are singular, no matter how heavy the downpour.


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