Countable and uncountable nouns and plurals (exercises)

countable uncountable nouns exercisesThe following exercises are designed to test your knowledge of countable and uncountable nouns and plurals. The ability to count a noun will change the verb conjugation and the type of quantifier you use for it (for example, fewer/less). The first exercise tests the use of verbs, whilst the second test quantifiers. Find more similar exercises here.

Countable and uncountable nouns exercise 1: Verbs

Choose an appropriate verb (and tense) to complete the sentences. Answers are below with explanations.

Examples

  • There ­­_______ dozens of pigs in the road.

There are dozens of pigs in the road. – Pigs are countable, and a plural, so we need are.

 

  • There _______ lots of pork on the table.

There is lots of pork on the table. – Pork is uncountable, so is treated as singular.

 

  1. This tomato _______ ripe.
  2. Now my pyjamas _______ stains on them!
  3. Those cups of tea _______ very hot. Because the tea _______ boiling.
  4. Can I _______ some cake?
  5. The glasses _______ full of whisky.
  6. That pair of glasses _______ broken.
  7. They _______ questioning him now, but the police _______ no evidence.
  8. The crowd _______ dispersing.
  9. Janette and Paul _______ been together for fourteen years.
  10. Our reserves of grain _______ running out. But the grain _______ Our reserves of grain _______ running out. But the grain _______ still good.
  11. My scissors _______ getting blunt.
  12. Your pizza _______ cold, you should reheat it.

Go to the answers.

Countable and uncountable nouns exercise 2: Quantifiers

Choose an appropriate quantifier to complete the sentences. The spaces can include single words or multiple words (for example many / lots of). Answers are below with explanations.

Examples

  • Do you have _______ sugar?

Do you have any/some sugar? – Sugar is uncountable, so it uses a quantifier. Any/some might be used for countable or uncountable nouns, but would be incorrect for a countable singular noun.

  • Do you have _______ car?

Do you have a car? – Car is countable and needs an indefinite article.

  1. Can I have _______ water?
  2. Please give me _______ ticket.
  3. How _______ burgers would you like? And how _______ sauce?
  4. People seem to care _______ about appearance now.
  5. It’s busy because there are _______ dogs in the park.
  6. We needed _______ potatoes for dinner.
  7. They didn’t have _______ cheese left, but there weren’t _______ cheeses to choose from to begin with.
  8. Clifford had too _______ cake, he’ll be sick.
  9. You need to invite _______ people, or the party will be too crowded.
  10. If this bill passes, I hope there will be _______ litter on the streets.
  11. The supermarket has _______ bread, but not _______ milk.
  12. Please pass me _______ paper, I seem to have run out.
  13. I went to the shop to get _______  carton of milk.

Go to the answers.

Answers for Exercise 1

 

  1. This tomato is ripe. – Singular, countable noun.
  2. Now my pyjamas have stains on them! – An uncountable plural noun (though it may refer to a single item). See here for more details.
  3. Those cups of tea are very hot. Because the tea is boiling. – In the first sentence tea is made countable because we use a countable unit, ‘cups of’. In the second sentence tea is uncountable.
  4. Can I have some cake? – I takes the first person singular.
  5. The glasses are full of whisky. – Glasses referring to drinks containers are countable, there are many glasses here.
  6. That pair of glasses is broken. – ‘Pair of’ makes the subject singular.
  7. They are questioning him, but the police have no evidence. – They is a plural, and the police is an uncountable plural.
  8. The crowd is dispersing. – Crowd is countable, here it is singular (it could be was in the past).
  9. Janette and Paul have been together for fourteen years. – Janette and Paul together represent a plural.
  10. Our reserves of grain are running out. But the grain is still good. – The first sentence the subject is ‘reserves’, a countable plural. In the second sentence the subject is ‘grain’, which is uncountable.
  11. My scissors are getting blunt. – The word scissors is an uncountable plural.
  12. Your pizza is cold, you should reheat it. – A countable singular.

Answers for exercise 2

 

  1. Can I have some water? – Water is uncountable.
  2. Please give me a ticket. – Ticket is countable so needs an indefinite article here.
  3. How many burgers would you like? And how much sauce? – Burgers are countable, but sauce is not.
  4. People seem to care less about appearance now. – Care is uncountable so needs less.
  5. It’s busy because there are so many dogs in the park. – Dogs are countable, so need many, not much.
  6. We needed some potatoes for dinner. – Potatoes are a countable plural, if it was a singular we could say ‘a potato’.
  7. They didn’t have any cheese left, but there weren’t many cheeses to choose from to begin with. – Cheese in the first sentence is countable, but in the second sentence we are talking about different types of cheese, so it becomes countable.
  8. Clifford had too much cake, he’ll be sick. – Cake is uncountable so needs much.
  9. You need to invite fewer people, or the party will be too crowded. – People is countable, so needs fewer and not less.
  10. If this bill passes, I hope there will be less litter on the streets. – Litter is uncountable, like rubbish or garbage, so requires less instead of fewer.
  11. The supermarket has some bread, but not much milk. – Bread is uncountable, so we need some/any/lots of – not many. Milk is uncountable, so needs much.
  12. Please pass me some paper, I seem to have run out. – As paper is uncountable, you require some not a.
  13. I went to the shop to get a carton of milk. – The object is a ‘carton of’, not ‘milk’, so it is countable and needs a.

 

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