This uncountable noun guide will delve into uncountable nouns and their function. We will give you a list of common uncountable nouns, and give you plenty of examples, so you can identify them wherever you go. Suitable for grades 3-6 and ESL.
To understand what an uncountable noun is, we need to understand what a countable noun is. A countable noun refers to something which can be counted with a specific number or quantity.
Uncountable nouns, or mass nouns, however, are nouns that are unable to be quantified or numbered. These types of nouns usually cover concepts, abstract ideas, and substances that cannot be separated.
For example, if we take the noun ‘water.’ Water is uncountable because you can’t count the individual molecules. We can count water bottles or gallons of water, but the beverage itself can’t be counted.
Don’t worry if this sounds confusing; keep reading on!
Here are some common uncountable nouns:
Tap the flashcards for more uncountable noun examples.
When quantifying uncountable nouns, there are specific words that you can use called units of measurement or partitives.
You can use the following units of measurement with uncountable nouns.
Want to know how to count uncountable nouns? Check out this explanation.
Instead of saying:
You can use a measure word:
We cannot say ‘a milk’ because milk is uncountable. So, if we want to quantify milk, we use a measure word such as ‘glass’ of milk.
Want to know how to ask questions with uncountable nouns? Check out the examples below.
Some partitives can be used before countable and uncountable nouns; check our article on countable nouns if you want to learn more about them.