In addition to food and drink, concepts are usually uncountable. It’s logical! How can you count music or psychology or art? Most things that are abstract are uncountable and all uncountable nouns are treated in the singular. For example, “this music is horrendous” or “love always triumphs.” Likewise, whenever we modify an uncountable noun, we must use an appropriate modifier. “Some, any, a little and much” all modify these nouns (many and a few do NOT). The last rule is that we don’t use the indefinite article (a or an) with uncountable nouns but the definite article (the) is ok. So, let’s look at some examples that put these rules into practice:
I’ve got some rice.
Do you have any milk?
Music is my passion.
Their lawn doesn’t have much grass.
I’ve got so many grains of rice.
Do you have many glasses of milk?
The music that she plays is lovely.
There are a few blades of grass on their lawn.
In conclusion, liquids, solids that melt, and small part solids are uncountable. Abstract concepts like love and happiness, news and information, money, power and electricity are also uncountable. We use uncountable modifiers, no indefinite article and they are treated in the singular. However, most uncountables can be counted by specifying how we will count them. Try some exercises yourself!
I’ve got so (much/
He thinks that (a/ø) money is the root of all evil.
The news (is/are) very depressing.
They have (many/a little) popcorn.
Do you have (any/many) butter?
Autora: Abigail Franckquepohl
Profesora en 121 Conversation. Nacida en Nueva York, se ha trasladado a España para conocer otra cultura y otro idioma. Es profesora acreditada con el TEFL y lleva cinco años dando clases de inglés para extranjeros.