Friday, November 13, 2009

Counting on Nouns: An ESL Guide

Some English words, especially uncountable nouns, don't translate well into other languages. Here is a partial list of uncountable nouns, in bold, which we should use singularly:

  1. My accountant gave me much good advice.
  2. The air is better today.
  3. Her art never fails to impress us.
  4. The coffee from Brazil and Colombia is famous.
  5. The price of electricity fluctuates by area.
  6. Some of the equipment has not arrived.
  7. We will need a lot of furniture.
  8. I threw out the garbage on both floors.
  9. You will need all the information you can get.
  10. She has vast knowledge of her field.
  11. The airline misplaced our luggage.
  12. They wrote music for many years.
  13. Where do you get your news?
  14. There is no easy solution to pollution.
  15. He expected to make more progress.
  16. The research from the labs is inconclusive.
  17. The train, bus, and ferry transportation was delayed.
  18. The traffic is endless in Mexico City.
  19. The water in my town and yours tastes great.
  20. Their work is exceptional.

Other uncountable nouns exist. The only way to master them is memorization. Start studying!