Hello and welcome back to our Grappling Grammar series where we break down and help you to understand some of the most complex areas of English grammar. In today’s blog we are going to talk about countable and uncountable nouns and how to use them properly.


First of all, let’s talk about countable nouns. Countable nouns are nouns that you can count, in other words, they have a singular and a plural form for example “1 chair” (una silla) and “2 chairs” (dos sillas).


Here are some common countable nouns: 


  • Bottle (botella)
  • Car (coche) 
  • Table (mesa)
  • Window (ventana) 
  • Bag (bolsa)
  • Hat (sombrero)
  • Pen (Bolígrafo) 
  • Pencil (lápiz)
  • Cup (copa)
  • Plate (plato) 
  • Dog (perro)
  • Cat (gato)


There are also some countable nouns that do not follow the rules of adding an “s” to the end of the noun to make them plural, these include: 


  • Person- people (persona)
  • Child- children (niño)
  • Man- men (hombre)
  • Woman- women (mujer)
  • Mouse- mice (Ratón)


Uncountable nouns are nouns that do not have a plural form and as a result cannot be counted in the same way as an uncountable noun. Uncountable nouns often include things like:


  • Liquids: Water (agua), Milk (leche), Wine (vino), Juice (zumo)
  • Small objects: Rice (arroz), Sand (arena), Wheat (trigo), Flour (harina), Salt (sal), Sugar (azúcar)
  • General terms (which usually include more than one object): Furniture (muebles), homework (deberes), Fish (pez), Sheep (oveja)


When we want to explain how much of an uncountable noun we have, we can use countable nouns to make them plural like this: 


  • A glass of milk (un vaso de leche)
  • 20 grams of flour (20 gramos de harina)
  • 2 cups of water (2 copas de agua)
  • a flock of sheep (un rebaño de ovejas)


Additionally, we can use quantifiers to state if we have a large or small quantity of a countable or an uncountable noun. Here are some examples of quantifiers:


We use a few to talk about small quantities with countable nouns and a bit of for uncountable nouns:


  • There are a few chairs in the classroom. (Hay unas pocas sillas en el aula)
  • I have a bit of homework to do tonight. (Tengo un poco de deberes de hacer esta noche)


Many can be used to describe large quantities of countable nouns:


  • There are many people in the building. (Hay muchas personas en el edificio)


Much is used to describe large quantities of uncountable nouns, but only in questions and negative sentences:


  • Do you have much homework to do? (¿Tienes muchos deberes que hacer?)
  • I don’t have much time. (No tengo mucho tiempo)


Some and a lot/lots of can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns to describe small and large quantities respectively: 


  • There are a lot of sheep in the field. (Hay muchas ovejas en el campo)
  • The shop has lots of plates (La tienda tiene muchos platos)
  • Could you lend me some money? (¿Podrías prestarme algo de dinero?)
  • Some cars are powered by electricity. (Algunos coches funcionan con electricidad)


So those are the essentials of the uses of countable and uncountable nouns. Remember to download the PDF of this blog to practice using both countable and uncountable nouns.