You can add a number in front of countable nouns, but you can’t do that to uncountable nouns. While we can count the individual bills and coins, and say we have 10 dollars, we don’t say we have 10 monies.
Uncountable nouns do NOT take the article “a” and do NOT take an “s” at the end
Thus, we can say:
“A coin” or “coins” is ok but not “a money” or “moneys.” Money is an uncountable noun.
“Pollution is a problem.” – Pollution is an uncountable noun.
“The pollution in my town is a problem.” – This is ok because we are talking about a specific location.
“There is some pollution in my town.” – This is ok because some tells us about the amount of pollution.
“There is a pollution in my town.” – This is NOT ok because a is only used with countable nouns (a car, a boy) and pollution is uncountable. Water, traffic and snow are other examples of uncountable nouns.
Compare Countable to Uncountable Nouns
Tricky Nouns (sometimes countable)
|There are three hairs in my food!||hair||He doesn’t have much hair.|
|There are three lights in our living room.||light||There’s too much light! Can you close the curtain please?|
| Shhhhh! Did you hear a noise?
There are so many different noises in the city.
|noise||It’s impossible to work with so much noise.|
| Do you have a paper I can read? (newspaper)
I already graded those student papers.
|paper||My son wants to draw a picture. Have you got some paper?|
|That apartment has 4 rooms.||room||Is there room for me to sit at your table?|
| We had a great time at your house last week.
How many times have I told you to stop?
|time||Have you got time to get lunch this week?|
|A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s greatest works.||work||He has no money. He needs work!|