Un-Countable Noun

(What It Is & How To Use It)

Un-Countable Noun - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“An Un-Countable Noun Is A Noun Which Can Not By Counted By Number, But Is Measured By Its Mass Or Volume”

 

What Is An Un-Countable Noun?

In Traditional English Grammar — The Term “Noun” is classified as one of the so-called “Parts Of Speech” — or sometimes, as a “Word-Class”.  However — those traditional Terms are imperfect, and also lead to the confusion that so many people experience with English Grammar.

Therefore — in The Grammar Of The Common Tongue — I have replaced those imperfect Terms, with the more suitable and precise Term“Grammatical Unit”.  The Noun is one of the eight “Base Grammatical Units” in The Common Tongue Of The English Language.  And an “Un-Countable Noun” is a specific type of Noun.

Bonus!  — To comprehend why this change of Terms was necessary — simply click any of the links in the explanation above, or anywhere else on this page to read the proper, logical, & correct descriptions of the Grammatical Terms used in this article.  😉

The Term “Un-Countable Noun” is the Grammatical Term which is used to refer to specific types of Nouns in The English Language.  These are Nouns which can NOT be “Counted” by number because when they increase or decrease, they do-so in Mass, Scale, or Volume — rather than in Number.

These Nouns are usually preceded by a Quantifier that is non-specific, or some unit of measure (For example: “1 gram of…” / “1 glass of…”).  There is NO Plural Form for “Un-Countable Nouns”.

This type of Noun is the opposite of what are called “Countable Nouns” — which are Nouns that represent things which CAN be measured by Number — and are NOT measured by their Mass, Scale, or Volume.

There are also many Nouns which are considered as Un-Countable Nouns only because actually counting each individual unit of that thing would be very difficult.  For example:  “Sand”.  It is POSSIBLE to count every single grain of sand…  But it would be incredibly difficult.  So we treat it as an Un-Countable Noun.

un-Countable Nouns are also sometimes — wrongly — referred to as a “Non-Count Noun”.  This is more common in British English.  It is wrong because the word “Count” is a Verb.  So, by adding the Prefix “Non-“ to the word makes it Grammatically wrong.  Something can not be “NOT an action” (Verb).  It can only be “NOT a thing” (Noun), or “NOT a quality/condition” (Adjective).  Therefore — the Brits are wrong.  😎

Uowever — it is also fairly common, in British English, to use the Term “Mass Noun”.  This is certainly better than calling it a “Non-Count Noun” because this type of Noun DOES refer to things that are measured by Mass.  But it excludes those which are measured by Scale, or Volume.  And Mass, Scale, & Volume — though similar — are not all the same thing.  There-fore — the Term “Mass Noun” is still not fully correct.  So “Un-Countable Noun” is a much more logical and correct Term to use.  😉

HOWEVER

Un-Countable Non-Countable Noun

(Why The Traditional Name Of This Term Is Wrong)

Notice!  —  Although the Term “Un-Countable” is better than both of the British-English alternatives — even the Term “Un-Countable Noun” is not fully-correct.  This is because the Prefix “Un-“ is used to refer to the “reversal” of something, or the act of making it into its opposite.  There-fore, the Prefix “Non-“ (which means “Not”) is the CORRECT Prefix.  So, although the Term “Un-Countable Noun” is the commonly-used Term in Traditional Grammar — from here, forward (and everywhere-else throughout GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!) — we shall use the PROPER & CORRECT Term “Non-Countable Noun”.  😎
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That Being Stated…  It takes time to completely correct an entire language!  🥵  So it may take some time for others to pick-up-on this CORRECT Term.  But this is the purpose of The Grammar Of The Common Tongue…  “To Completely Correct & Perfect… (as much as can be) …What Has Inappropriately Been Called ‘The English Language’ “ (because most of the common Grammatical & Lexical mistakes are actually done by the English people — and the “English” that most people speak throughout The World is NOT “British-English”.  Thus…  “The Common Tongue”.)  😎

Examples Of Non-Countable Nouns:

Ketchup & Mustard - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“A ‘Hot-Dog’ Is A Countable Noun.  But ‘Ketchup’ & ‘Mustard’ Are Non-Countable Nouns.”

 

As stated above — a Non-Countable Noun is a Noun that represents things which can not be counted as individual units. These are things such as:  liquids, or anything which would be VERY difficult to count as individual units — like sand, grains, & flour. They can also be “abstract” things like:  Feelings, Thoughts, Emotions, or…

Pile Of Shit - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

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  • The word “Pile” is a Countable Noun.  It is certainly possible for there to be more than 1 “Pile”.  The word “Pile” is used with the Quantifier, “One” — to describe How Many “Piles” there are.
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  • The word “Shit” is a Non-Countable Noun.  It is not possible for there to be many “Shits” (at least it would NOT be Grammatically Correct to say that — even if it would be Freakin’ Hilarious)  😂
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  • Since the word “Shit” is a Non-Countable Noun — the Phrase:  “One Big Pile Of” — actually functions as a “Number-Phrase”, which is used to refer to How Much “Shit” there actually is — even if that does not tell exactly “how much” shit is in that “pile”.
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(It should be obvious that “One Big Pile Of” is not a proper or specific unit of measure.)  👨‍🎓

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The Types Of Quantifiers Used With Non-Countable Nouns

To speak about Countable Nouns we can use Articles (a, an, & the), Numbers, and Pronouns (His, Her, This, That, etc.) in order to say, “How Many”.

Monkey Dog Tail-Pull - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

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That monkey just ran up and pulled that poor dog’s tail.  And then, did a loop around that cable, before finally going back to grab one of its legs!”

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However — when we are speaking about Non-Countable Nouns — we have to use some sort of unit of measure (“A glass of…”, “a bottle of…”, “750 ml of wine”.)

Wine Pour - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

However — when we are speaking about Non-Countable Nouns — we have to use some sort of unit of measure (“A glass of…”, “a bottle of…”, “750 ml of wine”.)

Or we can use some other Quantifier or Determiner which may be much less exact and may actually mean something a little bit different for each individual.

Sand - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“Do I have any sand on my face?”

 

Plenty Of Room - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“Don’t worry, there’s plenty of room!”

 

A Significant Amount Of Pain - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

“I am experiencing a significant amount of pain.”

 

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Since Wine, Sand, Room, & Pain are all Non-Countable Nouns — we use some sort of unit unit of measure to say “How Much”:

 

  • “a glass of”
  • “a bottle of”
  • “750 ml of”

Or…

 

  • “Any”
  • “Plenty of”
  • “a significant amount of”

This is how we say “How Much” of the Non-Countable Noun we are talking about.

(Even if the actual amount is not specific.)

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For An Excellent Contrast Between Countable & Non-Countable Nouns

Watch The Video Below

Countable Nouns

One Man

A Big Smile

Three Hot-Dogs

A Few Hot-Dog Buns

About Four Or Five Lollipops

Only A Few Meatballs

A Million Little Sprinkles

And A Cherry

Non-Countable Nouns

A Bunch Of Cereal & Milk

A Huge Pile Of Ketchup & Mustard

Many Pieces Of Chopped Onion

A Bowl-Full Of Candy

A Monster Pile Of Spaghetti with Sauce

Some Big Chunks Of Parmesan Cheese

A Big Glop Of Chocolate Sauce

Some Ice-Cream

Some More Chocolate

A Bit Of Whipped Cream

And All That Means A Lot Of Awesomeness, Hilarity, & Joy!

(Three more Un-Countable Nouns)

And That’s That!

Have An Excellent Day!

😉

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