Text: Count vs. Non-Count Nouns

Count Nouns

count noun (also countable noun) is a noun that can be modified by a numeral (three chairs) and that occurs in both singular and plural forms (chairchairs). The can also be preceded by words such as a, an, or the (a chair).

Quite literally, count nouns are nouns which can be counted.

Non-Count Nouns

A non-count noun (also mass noun), on the other hand, has none of these properties. It can’t be modified by a numeral (three furniture is incorrect), occur in singular/plural (furnitures is not a word), or co-occur with a, an, or the (a furniture is incorrect).

Again, quite literally, non-count nouns are nouns which cannot be counted.

Example: Chair vs. Furniture

The sentence pairs below compare the count noun chair and the non-count noun furniture.

a wooden chairThere are chairs in the room. (correct)
There are furnitures in the room. (incorrect)

There is a chair in the room. (correct)
There is a furniture in the room. (incorrect)

There is chair in the room. (incorrect)
There is furniture in the room. (correct)

Every chair is man made. (correct)
Every furniture is man made. (incorrect)

All chair is man made. (incorrect)
All furniture is man made. (correct)

There are several chairs in the room. (correct)
There are several furnitures in the room. (incorrect)

Determining the Type of Noun

In general, a count noun is going to be something you can easily count—like rock or dollar bill. Non-count nouns, on the other hand, would be more difficult to count—like sand or money. If you ever want to identify a singular non-count noun, you need a phrase beforehand—like a grain of sand or a sum of money.


Select the correct word to complete each sentence (in some cases, both words may be correct). Determine whether the correct word is a count or a non-count noun.

  1. The internet is contains a lot of (information / fact).
  2. The internet contains a lot of (informations / facts).
  3. We each have a (work / job) to do.
  4. We each have (work / job) to do.