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Common Uncountable Nouns: Word List


July 8, 2015 by Liz 91 Comments

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A list containing the most common uncountable nouns with tips and advice.
Countable and uncountable nouns are some of the most common mistakes that
students make in English. This page will explain everything to you.

Download PDF: Uncountable Nouns List

What is an uncountable noun?


Countable nouns are nouns which can be counted in numbers. For example, one
house / two houses. When we use countable nouns, we use the article “a” and the
plural “s” (a house, two houses).

Uncountable nouns are nouns which can’t be counted. For example, information.
It is not possible to say one information/ two informations. The word
“information” can’t be counted using numbers. It can never have a plural “s”. It
can never have an article “a” or “an”. And it can never be quantified with any
number.

What types of uncountable nouns are there?


Most uncountable nouns relate to:

liquids (milk, water)


abstract ideas (advice, chaos, motivation)
powder and grain (rice, wheat, sand)
mass nouns (furniture, hair, transportation)
natural phenomena (sunshine, snow, rain, weather)
states of being (sleep, stress, childhood)
feelings (anger, happiness, enthusiasm, courage)
gas (oxygen, air)
Uncountable Nouns & Grammar
How much …? = uncountable nouns / How many …? = countable nouns /
These = countable / This = uncountable
many = countable / a lot of = uncountable (and countable)
not many = countable / not much uncountable (we use “much” with negative
uncountable nouns)

To express an amount of an uncountable noun, you must use other words.

some information = a piece of information


some clothing = one item of clothing / two items of clothing
some equipment = a piece of equipment / two pieces of equipment
some water = a cup of water / two glasses of water

Uncountable Noun List


I have put the most common words in bold. Some words are both countable and
uncoutable – I have put a note next to those words.

A-F Uncountable Nouns

accommodation
advertising
air
aid
advice
anger
art
assistance
bread
business
bu er
calm
cash
chaos
cheese (both)
childhood (both)
clothing
coffee (both)
content
corruption
courage
currency (both)
damage
danger (both)
darkness
data
determination
economics
education (both)
electricity
employment
energy
entertainment (both)
enthusiasm
equipment
evidence
failure (both)
fame
fire
flour
food (both)
freedom
friendship (both)
fuel
furniture
fun

G -M Uncountable Nouns

genetics
gold
grammar
guilt
hair
happiness
harm
health
heat
help
homework
honesty
hospitality
housework
humour
imagination (both)
importance
information
innocence
intelligence
jealousy
juice
justice
kindness
knowledge
labour
lack (both)
laughter
leisure
literature
li er
logic
love (both)
luck
magic
management
metal (both)
milk
money
motherhood
motivation
music

N-S Uncountable Nouns

nature
news
nutrition
obesity
oil
old age
oxygen
paper (both)
patience
permission
pollution
poverty
power (both)
pride
production (both)
progress
pronunciation
publicity
punctuation
quality (both)
quantity (both)
racism
rain
relaxation (both)
research
respect
rice
room (space)
rubbish
safety
salt
sand
seafood
shopping
silence (both)
smoke
snow
software
soup (both)
speed
spelling
stress
sugar
sunshine

T – Z Uncountable Nouns

tea (both)
tennis
time (both)
tolerance (both)
trade (both)
traffic
transportation
travel
trust
understanding (both)
unemployment
usage
violence
vision (both)
warmth
water
wealth
weather
weight (both)
welfare
wheat
width
wildlife
wisdom
wood (both)
work
yoga
youth (both)

Irregular Uncountable Nouns


Some nouns can be both countable and uncountable.

Room = has two meanings. One is countable and one is uncountable.

If this is about a room in a house, it is countable.


If this is relating to space “there isn’t much room in this place”, it is
uncountable.

Hair = this can be countable and uncountable depending on how you use it.

“There is a hair in my soup”. This refers to only one strand of hair and is
countable.
“He has a lot of hair”. This refers to the mass of hair and is considered
uncountable.

Business = this can be countable and uncountable.

“He is going to Paris on business”. This is uncountable.


“I will take my business elsewhere”. This is uncountable and means I will take
my custom to another shop.
“He studies business at school”. This is uncountable.
“I am planning to start a new business”. Countable.

This is a difficult one with a lot of exceptions. Here’s a link with a list of rules for
the word business / countable and uncountable.

Other Irregular Uncountable Nouns


light / paper / time / work /

For details of irregular uncountable nouns, follow the link.

Practice with Countable and Uncountable Nouns


Fill in the gaps using one of the following: many / much / a lot of.

1. …………. wildlife are losing their habitation due to deforestation.


2. I haven’t heard ………. news about the recent events in Europe.
3. There aren’t ………. sports lessons offered in the school curriculum.
4. I can’t go out to tonight because I’ve got ………… work.
5. It is often thought that people who have only traveled in their own country
don’t have ……………. tolerance for others compared to people who have
been abroad.
6. ………… literature that students read at school is classical.
7. ……….. education policies are designed to protect students but ensure a high
level of learning.

Answers
1. A lot of
2. much
3. many (“lessons” = countable)
4. a lot of
5. much
6. A lot of
7. Many (“policies” = countable)

Fill in the gaps with on of the following: is / are.

1. Silence ……… essential in libraries to ensure that people can concentrate on


what they are reading.
2. There ……. a lot of company advertising during major sports events.
3. Shopping …….. one of the most popular leisure activities for women.
4. There …….. a lot of information available online about IELTS.
5. There ………. a lot of traffic in city centers during rush hour.
6. There ……….. not enough money spent on research for cancer.
7. Water …….. essential for plants to thrive.
8. I think that childhood …….. one of the best times of a person’s live.
9. The management procedures ……… difficult to understand.
10. Not enough aid …. given to third world countries.

Answers
1. is
2. is
3. is
4. is
5. is
6. is
7. is
8. is
9. are
10. is

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