Common Uncountable Nouns: Word List

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
  • 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.

A-F Uncountable Nouns

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

G -M Uncountable Nouns

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

N-S Uncountable Nouns

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

T – Z Uncountable Nouns

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

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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Comments

  1. Thanks 4 the excellent material♡

  2. Deyaa Ahmed says:

    is vegetable countable or uncountable ?

  3. I found that “art” is a countable world in the website of BBC.
    Is that the irregular situation?

    • “The arts” is not the same as art. These are two different types of words. If you talk about art, we can never talk about an art, but a piece of art. In that case, it is uncountable. But we can also talk about the arts, which relate to art, dance, singing etc. Some words can be both countable and uncountable. When students have a lower level of English, they learn the words are uncountable, such as cheese. But when students get to advanced level, they learn that these words can also be countable, for example cheeses.

  4. Hi Liz, thank you for this article. Please could you explain why on this website (oxforddictionaries blog) advice can be countable.

    http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/05/advise-advice/

    • I think you will find that this is for a different use of the word: “in business and legal use“. Words can have more than one meaning.

  5. hi liz,
    would you please tell me( song) is a countable/uncountable

  6. Hi LIz,

    We like your useful hints and tips :-)))

    Thank you 🙂

    Have a good day:-)

  7. Edwin Tomaneng says:

    Hello, Ms Liz,

    I discovered your website just a couple of hours ago. I am happily learning from your easy-to-absorb tips, based on your replies to users’ questions.

    Yesterday, I had an interesting tussle with another English language user when he read this message I had sent a friend…”May you always be surrounded by your happinesses…” I was referring to her posted picture of herself, surrounded by her kids. I donned ‘poetic licence’ to defend myself but he kept on axing me…”Happiness is an uncountable!” and I kept on agreeing with him, “Yes, yes,…I know the blessed word is an uncountable! I agree with you, but won’t you leave me in peace with my affections for my friend!” or somesuch…Did I deserve his assault?

    • If the only important aspect of language is grammar, then your comments contained a mistake. However, language is to communicate thoughts and feelings – you might be marked wrong for grammar but it was a lovely comment. Grammar is not everything in life 🙂

  8. Hi Liz
    Can you please explain the difference between, much and a lot of when we’re referring to uncountable nouns. Since both are used for uncountable nouns cant we replace much with lot of and vice versa ?
    for example
    Much literature that students read at school is classical
    A lot of literature that students read at school is classical.
    It’s really confusing the usage of much and a lot of. For me both looks grammatically correct.

  9. Ami Anup Shah says:

    Hi Liz.
    Thanks a ton for the information through your site on countable and uncountable nouns.I have a doubt that – are scissors and clothes countable or uncountable nouns?
    If uncountable please explain why?

    • Yes, they are uncountable. There are no reasons why a word is uncountable, it’s just a list you need to learn.

  10. Hello, thank for your useful lession, but I’m so confused in your exercise given:
    There is a lot of company advertising during major sports events.
    I know that company is countable nouns so I think it is: there are many companies advertising…
    I hope you can help me to understand. thank you 🙂

  11. Alex Neves says:

    I have been looking for a website like yours, and I found it amazing! I’m starting to teach English, a thing that I have always wanted, so your website will help basically all the time.
    HAHA!!!
    Anyways, keep on doing this great job which is sharing your knowledge with us, you have all my support!
    Thanks!
    Greetings from Brasil!

  12. Hi Liz
    Thank you for the post.
    Could you take a bit of your time to answer this question;
    Are these countable nouns or not?
    -society
    -Government
    -ministery
    -Crime

    Thanks

  13. Hi Liz,

    First of all, I’d like to say a BIG THANK YOU to you since your lessons and all contents are so helpful for preparing IELTS test.
    I’ve been struggling with using proper prepositions. It’s so confusing… I’ve found that there are some certain words that ALWAYS comes after “the”, such as, THE public, THE tourism industry, THE government (this indicates general meaning of government, but Government without the means indicating Specific government..), etc.
    Would you clarify what words are following this rule (?) in English and provide me the list of those kinds of word please? Any kind of advice will be very helpful for me 🙂
    I really appreciate it in advance and thanks again for all your informative lessons!

  14. Guys, I understood that uncountable nouns can not be quantified. But I’m confused about some words on the list and the fact that would be wrong to refer them using “a” or “an”. For example: advice, coffee, help. Couldn’t I use the sentences below?
    Can you give me a coffee?
    I have an advice for you.

  15. Good Day!

    Thank you so much for this piece of information. ☺ I believe that I would achieve my desired band scores for each test with your help through this very helful site of yours. I just want to ask if the first example given on the former questions section which is the: “A lot of wildlife…” should be followed by “are” rather than “is”? I am somewhat confused with it because the following questions below that, the one in which we have to answer with is or are, have examples like this one: “There is a lot of…”, and “is” was used. Hehe. How are the two different from each other?
    Thank you again! 😊

    Nica

  16. Hello, I think your site too much (huge) helpful not only me but also others. I just want to know and need to help the following synonymes is correct for the given related word as below :
    *Quick increase / drecrease : – rapidly, – dramatatically, – significantly, – remarkably, -considerably, -markedly;
    *Slow increase/ drecrease: -slowly, -slightly, – minimally, -gradually, – steadily,
    Is that alright! thanks for concern.

  17. “vitamine A” is countable or uncountable?
    so, shall I say too much vitamine A or too many vitamine A

  18. Hallo Liz,

    I need your advice for a beginner like me. How do I start to learn English Language? I am planning to take IELTS exam next year in a way for me to work as a Nurse in UK.

    Fitriah

  19. hello liz
    thanks for your website,I found it very usefull.

    now my doubt is ,we normally use “atrs and sports “is that correct ?because I believe these are also uncountable noun.

  20. Hello, Liz!

    I have a question comcerning a certain words, that is “research”. The word is uncountable and is also mentioned in your list. However, I have seen it used with a verb in the plural form like “The research are…” or “Our reseach show that…”. So is it pluraria tantum or singularia tantum?

    Best regards,
    Victoria

  21. ThuyBui- FangCui says:

    Hi Liz, I saw your lesson ” these=countable N; this =uncountable N”. I believe that ” this, that, these, those ” are all used for countable N. This, that: singular N; these, those: Plural N. Is it correct?

  22. Hello Liz, I write you from Mexico city… love your site!
    I have a question, I’ve seen a lot of graphics about market share, trend share, stock trend, etc. Can those terms can be paraphrased?

    Thank you.

    Best regards!

  23. Olufemi says:

    Hi Liz,
    I took ielts in June and my scores are
    Listening- 8.5
    Reading- 7.5
    Writing- 6.5
    Speaking- 6.5
    Later I discovered your website , and I have subscribed your tutorials. I hope there will be improvement in my writing and speaking .

  24. Saurabh Kapoor says:

    Hi Liz,

    I took the first IELTS test In Februaury this year and the scores were as folllowing:

    Listening – 7.5
    Reading – 7.5
    Speaking – 7.5
    Writing – 6.5
    Overall – 7.5

    I was surprised on what I had scored in writing and thus, decided to go for re-evaluation. Money and time spent went in vain as the scores remained unchanged. Consequently I paid for the second test and appeared in June. This time my score is:

    Listening – 8
    Reading – 8.5
    Speaking – 7.5
    Writing – 7.5
    Overall – 8

    I am extremely happy with my performance, yet I believe I could have scored more on speaking. Nevertheless I need 7 in each band and this score suffices my need to apply for immigration to Australia.

    Many suggested that I should attend to the IELTS crash course since getting a band up is not easy without proper guidance. This is when I searched for information online and started following your course on youtube. I had extensively watched all your videos which gave tips on writing task 1 & 2. Some of the tips contradicted with what other websites had to say but I had complete faith in you. I must confess that it was easiest and most exciting to learn from you.
    I can not thank you more, all credit goes to you and how wonderfully you have drafted all the content. My writing remained the way it was but the technique which I learnt from you helped me to score 7.5 in writing.
    Not to forget, I watched videos on speaking , listening & reading which in turn helped me achieving a better score than the previous one.

    Thanks a lot Liz, I am highly grateful to you.

    Cheers,
    Saurabh Kapoor
    India, New Delhi

    • Well done with your score. Getting 7.5 in both speaking and writing is great. I’m really glad you were able to benefit from my lessons 🙂
      Good luck with your future plans and thanks for letting me know 🙂
      Liz

  25. Hi liz
    finally i passed my IELTS exam
    Speaking:
    part1 trees
    do you like trees?
    Why people plant trees?
    Are there any trees in your
    place?
    Museum:
    what types of museum do you prefer to go?
    Do you go there with your friends or on your own?
    Part 2
    Describe an occasion that you get lost yourself in a place.
    Part 3
    what do you think how electronic or phone maps influence on to find people’s way?
    In the future should we need maps or not?
    Those are all things that i remembered.
    But i am confusing in part 2 i had some silence while i was speaking.
    What do you think it results in my score?

    Thank you for replying you are the best

    sincerely Ilkhom.

    • Thanks for sharing. I can’t predict your score without hearing your full speaking test.
      All the best
      Liz

  26. Hello Liz,

    Good Morning.
    First of all I’d like to thank you as I was served by your tips and teaching. I sat for IELTS on 27 June. Today I’ve got my result and I’ve scored Band 6. Speaking -6.5 Writing -5.5
    Reading-5.5 and Listening-5.5 and I’m quite dissatisfied and depressed as well. Next time I’ll try to score better . So I need to keep regular contact with you.
    Thank you
    Noor

  27. Thx.Liz u r a great teacher..I hope I ‘ll do better in my 2nd attempt IELTS EXAM through ur valuable tips.

  28. Fatima Bora says:

    Greetings
    I am an IELTS faculty. I use to face lot of problem while teaching students because it was difficult to make them unerstand. your videos is a great help for me. Now I can learn form you make my student understand. Sometime I do show your video.Thank you so much for making such a valuable videos. I would likw to ask few question if you allow me to. Waitinfg for your reply.
    With regards
    Fatima

  29. Dear Liz
    Thank you for your lessons.
    Kindly help me with the correct usages of the following.
    Food and drinks
    Fruit and vegetables
    Fast foods

    You are a great teacher.
    Best regards
    Moon

  30. Mohammad Hassan says:

    Hi Liz,

    Actually I am little bit confused about Uncountable Noun and that is if I heard in Listening any kind of word ‘sentence’ or ‘sentences’ so I do not use “S” after that word. Another example in ‘Sport’ , ‘Vision’ etc.

    Regards,
    Mohammad Tanvir Hassan

  31. good information. thankz liz

  32. Good morning liz

    You are doing a great job for the pupils who really need this information to get high band scores . Thanks for your assistance.I was feeling something should be different which will make easy for every module practices. you proved it.
    With regards
    Navi

  33. kyumsun says:

    Wow~! uncountable noun is the most confusing grammar for me for a long time. It is so useful lesson…but among them I still not sure these are uncountable? such as business, room??? Thanks so much for your brilliant tips~!

    • Some words can be both countable and uncountable depending on how you use them or their meaning. I’ve included a list to help all students.
      All the best
      Liz

  34. Hi liz,

    Thx for sharing this information it is very much help to me in speaking and writing.
    Hope you continue to sharing this type of tips in future. Thx again.

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