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