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1) Noncount nouns cannot be counted.
  • There is some traffic.
  • There are two traffics.
  • Jewelry is pretty.
  • Jewelries are pretty.

    Take a quiz: Count/Noncount 1 (easy)
    Take a quiz: Count/Noncount 2 (medium)
    Take a quiz: Count/Noncount 3 (advanced)

    2) Noncount nouns do not have a singular or plural form.
    A noncount noun works like a singular noun and uses the singular verb form:
  • Traffic is terrible.
  • Furniture is expensive.


    3) A and an cannot be used with noncount nouns.
    However, words of quantity can be used to show the amount of the non-count noun:
  • There was a lot of traffic today.
  • They don't have much furniture.
  • Take a quiz: Expressions of Quantity 1 (medium)
    Take a quiz: Expressions of Quantity 2 (medium)

    4) When making generalizations, noncount nouns are used with no article:
  • Traffic in the city is always congested.
  • They bought some furniture yesterday.
  • (traffic in general)
    (furniture in general)

    5) But--for a specific meaning, noncount nouns are used with an article:
  • The traffic at 3 am was light.
  • The furniture in that store was destroyed by the fire.
  • (specific traffic)
    (specific furniture)

    Take a quiz: Article Usage (medium->advanced)

    6) Sometimes it seems that noncount nouns are not logical, but if you click here, you will find different types and categories of noncount nouns and you will be able to see some logic in the categories. :-)

    Types and categories of noncount nouns

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