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7.7: Non-count Nouns

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  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Use the if a reader could identify the noun specifically.

    Example \(\PageIndex{1}\):

    • Please turn off the lights. We’re not going to the museum tomorrow. (Count)
    • The food throughout Korea is excellent (Non-count)

    Use a/an if the noun refers to a single item that is not specific. Never use a/an with plural or non-count nouns.

    Example \(\PageIndex{2}\):

    Bring an eraser to class. You’ll be using a pencil to write an essay today. (Count)

    Use a quantifier such as enough, many, some, etc. if the noun represents and unspecified amount and that amount is more than one but not all.

    Example \(\PageIndex{3}\):

    • Amanda showed us some souvenirs of her trip to New Orleans. Many birds go there in the summer. (Count)
    • We didn’t get enough snow this winter.

    Use no article if the noun represents all items in a category or the category in general.

    Example \(\PageIndex{4}\):

    • Teachers can attend the game for free. Actors must report backstage by 5:00 p.m. (Count)
    • Gold is a natural resource.

    This page titled 7.7: Non-count Nouns is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Robing Jeffrey.

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