Typical uncountable nouns
Substances: water, air, coffee, plastic, iron, paper
Abstract ideas: life, fun, freedom, health, time, progress
Activities: work, travel, sleep, football, help, research
Human feelings: happiness, anger, honesty, hope, respect, courage
Groups of items: furniture, luggage
Other words: accommodation, advice, behaviour, business, cash, equipment, furniture, health, homework, information, knowledge, luggage, money, permission, rubbish, scenery, traffic, travel, weather, work
Uncountable nouns that describe a category
Some uncountable nouns can be used in a countable way when they describe
Uncountable use: Would you like some fruit after your coffee?
Use as a category: There are two main fruits exported from Madeira, bananas and pineapples.
• Change of meaning
Some words have different meanings in countable and uncountable forms.
Countable: an iron (domestic appliance)
a wood (small area of trees)
a paper (newspaper)
a chicken (the animal)
a coffee (a cup of coffee)
a business (a company)
a gossip (a person)
a hair (a single strand)
a help (a helpful person/thing)
a toast (formal words said before drinking)
a work (a work of art/engineering)
Uncountable: some iron (a substance/material)
some wood (a substance/material)
some paper (a substance/material)
chicken (the meat)
business (in general)
hair (all together)
help (in general)
toast (grilled bread)
work (in general)
These nouns only have a plural form and take a plural verb.
My trousers are too tight.
The stairs are very steep.
Other common examples are: clothes, contents, feelings, goods, jeans, means, outskirts, surroundings, thanks.
Some nouns can be followed by either a singular or plural verb.
I think the government is/are wrong.
It depends whether we think of the group as a whole (singular verb), or its
individual members (plural verb). Other common examples: army, audience, class, company, crew, crowd, data, family, group, media, press, public, staff, team
Some group nouns only take a plural verb: cattle, police, people
Transform the sentences using Passive VoiceСсылка