Count and Non-count Nouns

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Common nouns are either count or non-count. COUNT nouns can be "counted", as follows:   
      one pen, two pens, three pens, four pens... 
 NON-COUNT nouns, on the other hand, cannot be counted in this way:   
       one software, *two softwares, *three softwares, *four softwares... 
 From the point of view of grammar, this means that count nouns have singular as well as plural forms, whereas non-count nouns have only a singular form.   

 It also means that non-count nouns do not take a/an before them:   

Count Non-count
a pen  *a software

 In general, non-count nouns are considered to refer to indivisible wholes. For this reason, they are sometimes called MASS nouns.   

Some common nouns may be either count or non-count, depending on the kind of reference they have. For example, in I made a cake, cake is a count noun, and the a before it indicates singular number. However, in I like cake, the reference is less specific. It refers to "cake in general", and so cake is non-count in this sentence.  

In each of the following sentences, indicate whether the highlighted noun is count or non-count.  

1. The board will meet tomorrow to consider your application. Count   
2. The information you gave to the detective was very misleading. Count   
3. I thought it was a strange comment to make. Count   
4. Smoking damages your health. Count   
5. Jean is studying music at college. Count   
6. I'll have a brandy, please. Count   

More on Nouns...


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