Uncountable Nouns: Quick Fire Guide With Examples

This article will delve into uncountable nouns and their function. We will give you a list of common uncountable nouns, and as always, we will give you plenty of examples, so you can identify them wherever you go.

Uncountable Nouns: Defined

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!

countable and uncountable noun examples

Uncountable Nouns: Common List

Here are some common uncountable nouns:

Liquids

  • Water
  • Tea
  • Milk
  • Oils

Food

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Rice and grains
  • Flour

Abstract Concepts

  • Knowledge
  • Compassion
  • Education
  • Chaos

Materials

  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Metals
  • Cotton

States of Being

  • Content 
  • Sleep 
  • Stress
  • Childhood

Feelings

  • Happiness
  • Anger
  • Disappointment 
  • Fear

Nature

  • Weather
  • Air
  • Oxygen

Other

  • News
  • Luck
  • Money (Change, bills, and dollars can be counted)
  • Information 

Uncountable Nouns: Grammar

When quantifying uncountable nouns, there are specific words that you can use called units of measurement or partitives.

Instead of saying:

  • A milk.

You can use a measure word:

  • A glass of milk or a bottle of milk.

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.

Some partitives can be used before countable and uncountable nouns; check our article on countable nouns if you want to learn more about them.

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