COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS AND ARTICLES COUNTABLE NOUNS Can A job, a company, a biscuit Or be singular: plural: Few jobs, many companies, some biscuits. UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS Cannot Health, clothing Take a singular verb: Petrol is expensive. Exercise is good. Use be plural: certain words to refer to quantity: A piece of furniture. A sum of money. A litre of petrol. COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS Many nouns can be countable or uncountable but with a change of meaning: These grammar exercises are very easy. (= tasks to practice grammar) Exercise is good for you. (= taking exercise in general) The gallery was showing works by many artists (= paintings) I don’t enjoy hard work. (= tasks and activities) UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS Advice, information and news are uncountable nouns. We cannot use them with a/an or in the plural. These nouns are uncountable in English, although they may be countable in other languages: accommodation, baggage, behaviour, equipment, fun, furniture, homework, housework, litter, luck, luggage, progress, rubbish, scenery, traffic, travel, weather, work ARTICLES SPECIAL USES OF ARTICLES PLACES – we use the: Oceans, seas, rivers: the Nile Regions: the Far East Groups of islands: the Philippines Names of countries which include a word such as Republic, Kingdom, States or Emirates Deserts and mountain ranges: the Alps We say: the sea, the coast, the seaside, the country, the mountains, the hills SPECIAL USES OF ARTICLES PLACES – we don’t use the with: Lakes: Lake Ness Continents, most countries, states, cities, towns and villages: Europe, France, Florida, Rome Buildings and locations which use the name of their town in the name: Manchester Airport SPECIAL USES OF ARTICLES the: We use the with superlative adjectives and adverbs: He’s the best friend ever. We use the when we refer to particular things: I love music but I don’t like the music you listen to. With adjectives to express groups: the rich With nationalities: the Spanish With ordinal numbers used as adjectives: He won the first prize at the competition. SPECIAL USES OF ARTICLES – a/an JOBS: we use a/an to say what job someone does – He’s a teacher DEFINITIONS: we use a/an to give a definition of something – A department store is a shop which sells a wide range of products. EXCLAMATIONS: we use a/an with exclamations – What a beautiful day! SPECIAL USES OF ARTICLES: We use the or no article before some places with a difference in meaning: The children are at school now. (= they are students there) My father is at the school now. (= he is visiting it) Peter spent a lot of time in hospital as a child. (= he was a patient) Dr Stevens has an office in the hospital and another one at home. (= she works there) SPECIAL USES OF ARTICLES Some fixed expressions use the and some use no article: We travel by train/bus. We have lunch/dinner at home. We listen to the radio (but we watch television) We play the guitar (a musical instrument) and we play tennis (a sport) We go to the cinema, the theatre, etc.