Nouns and determiners

Countable and Uncountable nouns

  • Countable Nouns
    • Have a singular and plural form.

      e.g. This cup is clean but those cups are dirty.

      Are used with singular or plural verb forms.

      e.g. There is one computer in my office but there are three computers in the manager’s office.

      Can be used with a/an.

      e.g. I'd like to buy a car.
  • Uncountable Nouns
    • Do not have a plural form.

      e.g. Would you like some water?

      Are only used with singular verb forms.

      e.g. There is some money in my purse.
      There are some money in my purse.

      Can not be used with a/an.

      e.g. This shop sells furniture
      This shop sells a furniture.
  • Help
    • Some nouns can be either countable or uncountable depending on their context.
      Examples:
      I don't do much exercise. (physical exercise - uncountable)
      I have done three exercises from this book. (written work - countable)
      How much time do you need? (hours, minutes etc - uncountable)
      How many times have you seen this film? (occasions - countable)

      Some countable nouns have irregular plural forms.

      Examples:
      man / men
      woman / women
      child / children
      person / people
      tooth / teeth
      foot / feet
      mouse / mice

      Some nouns which are countable in many languages may not be in English. Common examples of uncountable nouns in English include:

      furniture
      advice
      luggage
      information
      news
      work
      damage
      progress

Some and any

  • Some
    • Is used with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns in positive sentences.

      e.g. We have invited some friends for dinner. I hope they buy some wine.

      Is used with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns for polite offers and requests.

      e.g. Could you give me some help, please?
      Would you like some biscuits with your tea?
  • Any
    • Is used with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns in negative sentences.

      e.g. I don’t have any money.
      She doesn’t play any team sports.

      Is used with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns in questions.

      e.g. Do you have any brothers?
      Is there any sugar in the cupboard?

A lot of/ Lots of, Much and Many

  • A lot of / lots of
    • Used with plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns in positive sentences.

      e.g. He gave me a lot of advice.
      He has lots of ideas.
  • Much
    • Is used with uncountable nouns in questions and negative sentences.

      e.g. How much progress have you made?
      I'm not taking much luggage.
  • Many
    • Is used with plural countable nouns in questions and negative sentences.

      e.g. How many cups of coffee do you drink every day?
      e.g. There aren’t many people in town this morning.
  • Help
    • It is possible to use many with plural countable nouns in positive sentences but it is more usual to use a lot of / lots of.

      Examples:
      I have a lot of CDs. is less formal than I have many CDs.

      We use lots of more often in spoken English.

A little /A few

  • A little
    • Is used with uncountable nouns in positive sentences to express a small quantity of something.

      e.g. I take a little milk in my coffee.
  • A few
    • Is used with plural countable nouns in positive sentences to express a small number of something.

      e.g. Only a few people attended the meeting.

Nouns and Determiners Practice Test

Select the best answer to complete the sentences below. Sometimes it may seem that two answers are possible but there is always a BEST answer. Check your score at the end of the test by clicking 'RESULTS'.

Complete each sentence by selecting the best answer


  1. 01. Did you remember to buy ?

  2. 02. time do you need to finish your project?

  3. 03. Please could you give me about flights to London?

  4. 04. I'm worried about Andrew. He's lost his job and he's got money in his bank account.

  5. 05. They're building in the town centre.

  6. 06. She's an excellent teacher. She has patience.

  7. 07. Would you mind answering questions?

  8. 08. times have you seen U2 in concert?

  9. 09. He really likes antiques. a lot of old furniture in his house.

  10. 10. Fred is new to the school so he doesn't have friends.

  11. 11. Ian and Tracy are painting their house but they've made because of the bad weather.

  12. 12. I don't want to hear for their bad behaviour.

  13. 13. I'm very grateful to him. He gave me .

  14. 14. I don't know I've read on communication skills at work.

  15. 15. Only people came to watch the match.

  16. 16. You should take at least three times a week if you want to stay healthy.

  17. 17. It's a very busy road. There's always traffic.

  18. 18. I have very at the end of a busy day.

  19. 19. more men than women in our company.

  20. 20. Would you like with your coffee?

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