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Grammar & Structure  » Nouns-Count nouns

Count nouns

Main points
1-) Count nouns have two forms, singular and plural.
2-) They can be used with numbers.
3-) Singular count nouns always take a determiner.
4-) Plural count nouns do not need a determiner.
5-) Singular count nouns take a singular verb and plural count nouns take a plural verb.
In English, some things are thought of as individual items that can be counted directly. The nouns which refer to these countable things are called count nouns. Most nouns in English are count nouns. See Unit 6 for information on uncount nouns.
1-) Count nouns have two forms. The singular form refers to one thing or person.
   a book   the teacher.
The plural form refers to more than one thing or person.
   books    some teachers.
2-) You add ‘-s’ to form the plural of most nouns.
 book > books
 school > schools
You add ‘-es to nouns ending in ‘-ss, ‘-ch’, -5’, ‘-sh’, or ‘-x’.
class > classes
watch > watches
gas > gases
dish > dishes
fox > foxes
Some nouns ending in ‘-o’ add ‘-s’, and some add -es.
photo > photos,  piano > pianos
hero > heroes, potato > potatoes
Nouns ending in a consonant and ‘-y’ change to ‘-ies’.
country > countries lady > ladies party > parties victory => victories
Nouns ending in a vowel and ‘-y’ add an ‘-s’.
boy > boys,   day > days
key > keys,  valley > valleys
Some common nouns have irregular plurals.
 child > children,         foot > feet
 man > men,           mouse > mice
tooth > teeth,        woman > women
Some nouns that end in ‘-s’ are uncount nouns, for example ‘athletics’ and ‘physics’.
3-) Count nouns can be used with numbers.
one table    two cats    three hundred pounds.
4-) Singular count nouns cannot be used alone, but always take a determiner such as ‘a’, ‘another’, every’, or ‘the’.
* We’ve killed a pig
* He was eating another apple.
* She had read every book on the subject.
* I parked the car over there.
5-) Plural count nouns can be used with or without a determiner. They do not take a determiner when they refer to things or people in general.
* Does the hotel have large rooms?
* The film is not suitable for children.
Plural count nouns do take a determiner when they refer precisely to particular things or people.
* Our computers are very expensive.
* These cakes are delicious.
6-) When a count noun is the subject of a verb, a singular count noun takes a singular verb.
* My son likes playing football.
* The address on the letter was wrong.
A plural count noun takes a plural verb.
* Bigger cars cost more.
* I thought more people were coming.
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