Uncountable and Countable Nouns: Rules and Common Mistakes

Uncountable and Countable Nouns: Rules and Common Mistakes

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In our last blog, we learned about two types of nouns – UNCOUNTABLE and COUNTABLE

ऐसे nouns जिन्हे हम संख्या (1, 2, 3, 4…) में गिन सकते हैं उन्हें ‘countable nouns’ कहा जाता है और जिन nouns को numbers में नहीं गिना जा सके, उन्हें ‘uncountable nouns’ कहते हैं।

CLICK HERE to read the blog: Countable and Uncountable Nouns: What are they?

Now, gaining the knowledge is quite easy but what counts is that how you put that in practical use.
There are a number of mistakes that people do when it comes to countable and uncountable nouns.

Let’s deal with some common ones.

PLURAL UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

यूँ तो uncountable nouns के plural और singular forms नहीं होते हैं, परन्तु शब्द के अर्थ या संदर्भ के आधार पर, अगणनीय संज्ञाएं भी गणनीय संज्ञा के रूप में भी उपयोग की जा सकती हैं।
For example:

Uncountable form:
Would you like some coffee? (यहाँ coffee एक पेय पदार्थ है और इसलिए इसे गिना नहीं जा सकता )

Countable form:
I’ll have a coffee. ( यहां, ‘a coffee’ का अर्थ है ‘one cup of coffee’ )

This implies that when we pair uncountable nouns with words expressing a plural concept; or when we add a fixed physical quantity measure (litres, kilograms, metre, etc.) to certain uncountable nouns, they become countable.

Some other such examples:

A glass/litre of milk. ( not a milk)
Two pieces/kinds/slices of cheese. ( not two cheese )
A bowl/plate of rice. ( not a rice)
Two teaspoon salt. ( not two salts)

TRICKY ONES
hair-min
There are some nouns that top the list of being the most commonly mistaken ones.

MONEY
Currency is countable and thus it has both singular and plural forms -rupee-rupees, dollar-dollars, euro-euros, etc.

• I bought this table for 3000 rupees.
• मैंने यह मेज़ 3000 रुपए में खरीदा।

On the other hand, money is always uncountable and thus, always singular.

Incorrect    I want 100 money.
Correct      
I want some money. OR I want 100 rupees/dollars/euros.

TIME
When we talk about the amount of time (number of hours/days etc.) required to complete something, time is usually uncountable.

• I need some more time to complete the file.
• फाइल को पूरा करने के लिए मुझे कुछ और समय चाहिए।
(‘Some’ का उपयोग अगणनीय संज्ञाओं के लिए किया जाता है)

In certain expressions, the word time is used as a countable noun.

• It took me a long time to reach here.
• यहां तक पहुंचने में मुझे बहुत समय लगा।

Time becomes a countable entity when you use it to express repetition.

• I called you several times yesterday.
• मैंने कल कई बार आपको फ़ोन किया था।

HAIR
When we talk about hair in general, they are considered uncountable (and singular) as no one can count all of them.

• Lena’s hair is very beautiful.
• Lena के बाल बहुत सुन्दर हैं।

When we talk about individual strands of hair, it’s considered countable.

• I found a hair/a strand of hair in my coffee.
• मुझे मेरी कॉफ़ी में एक बाल मिला।

• I pulled out three white hairs from my head today.
• मैंने आज अपने सिर से तीन सफेद बाल निकाले।

SOME MORE RULES
कुछ ऐसे भी शब्द और अभिव्यक्तियां हैं जिनका इस्तेमाल केवल गणनीय संज्ञाओं के साथ किया जा सकता है, जबकि कुछ का उपयोग केवल बेशुमार संज्ञाओं के साथ ही किया जा सकता है।

Much or Many?
Uncountable nouns के बारे में बताने या questions करने के लिए हमेशा ‘much’ का प्रयोग करें और countable nouns के लिए ‘many’ या ‘several‘ का use किया जाता है।
NEVER INTERCHANGE!

Uncountable:
• I don’t have much time.
• मेरे पास ज्यादा समय नहीं है।

• How much did you study today?
• आपने आज कितनी पढ़ाई करी?

Countable:
• There are several mistakes in this report.
• इस रिपोर्ट में कई गलतियां हैं।

• How many people came to the party?
• कितने लोग पार्टी में आए?

Few and Fewer
Only with countable nouns

• Boss gave a few suggestions for the new project.
• बॉस ने नई परियोजना के लिए कुछ सुझाव दिए।

Little, Less, Least
Only with uncountable nouns

• Please put less sugar in my tea.
• कृपया मेरी चाय में कम चीनी डालें।

Common mistake:

Incorrect There were less cars on the road.
Correct   There is fewer cars on the road.


Learn more about common mistakes with our blogs:

Common Prepositions Mistakes
I vs. Me vs. Myself
Who or Whom? Let’s Get Over With It!

Click to download our apps HinKhoj and  Namaste English.

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