More on non-count nouns- nouns that can be either count or noun count?


Say What??? Some nouns can be count or non-count? Crazy English or can something help me to not feel confused?


Perhaps I can help clear up some of the confusion. Yes there are nouns that can be count or non-count, but it is because they refer to something different. Examples:

Chicken can be count or non-count. If chicken refers to what you buy at the store and is cut up, then chicken is non-count such as- Matt bought some chicken to cook for his students. (My students would be scared by the idea of me cooking for them) 🙂

Chicken is a count noun when it refers to living birds such as- My neighbors have four chickens but they don’t share eggs with me.

Hamburger is non-count when it refers to the meat you buy at the store such as- Matt bought some hamburger to cook meatloaf for his students, (My students need not worry, I won’t try to cook for you)  🙂

Hamburger is count when it refers to what you buy at a restaurant or make and eat at home such as- Bill ate ten McDonald’s hamburgers yesterday, (Oh oh cholesterol will go up).

So when trying to decide if the noun is count or non-count look to what it refers to. If you have a question about a specific noun, leave a comment here or for those of you who follow me on facebook leave it there with this post.


Non-Count Nouns correct use and Americans talking

I used to teach nouns in a class I taught some years ago. Part of teaching nouns is to teach about singular nouns, plural nouns, and something we have in English called non-count nouns.

The non-count nouns can make English learners feel a bit confused.


So today I want to try to clear up some confusion and as always if you have a question or comment, please leave a comment.

Many non-count nouns are names of categories and the items in the category are count nouns.


Jewelry is the name of the category and is non-count, but the items in the category are count such as ring, bracelet, and earring.

Some jewelry, a lot jewelry, a little jewelry are correct but a jewelry is incorrect.


a ring, two rings, a bracelets, five bracelets are all correct.

Anything that has water is non-count such as coffee, tea, milk, hot chocolate, soup. We can say a bowl of soup, a cup of coffee, a bottle of water but the count noun is bowl, cup, bottle.

I can write two cups of coffee and the plural noun is the word cups not water.

Some confusion can come from being around an American and listening to them speak in everyday situations such as going to a coffee shop. I do it myself.


I go into a coffee shop and speak with the American working there and correct grammar goes out the window. So I made a quick little video for you to talk about it. You can see it by clicking on the video below. I will add more about non-count nouns this week. As ALWAYS, if you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment.

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Here is the video 🙂