Uncountable Noun Classification

Uncountable Noun Classification

uncountable noun classification

gas: oxygen, smoke, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, helium
subject: English, art, philosophy, science, history
thing made of small pieces: rice, sand, salt spaghetti, salad
idea or feeling: democracy, happiness, capitalism, sadness
material: gold, wood, concrete, skin, chicken
name of a disease or medical condition: diabetes, influenza, cancer, acne, obesity
group of similar things: money, luggage, mail, traffic, furniture
liquid: water, shampoo, oil, coffee, juice
sport or game: soccer, tennis, chess, poker, baseball
thing that occurs naturally: lightning, rain, snow, fire, gravity


The above rules are not perfect. There are; like most rules in English, exceptions to them. Some confusing exceptions: Spaghetti is uncountable, but noodles are countable. Beans, peas, potato chips, french fries, and nuts are countable even though they are made up of very small pieces. Vegetables, toys, even the classifiers on the above chart (gases, ideas, feelings, materials, etc) are groups of similar things, yet they are countable. Everyday weather, e.g. snow, rain, wind, fog are uncountable, but natural forces of great power, e.g. storms, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, etc., are countable. Names of diseases are uncountable, but the symptoms associated with them, e.g. fevers, sore throats, rashes, etc., are often countable.

Match the uncountable noun classifier on the left with its corresponding example on the right

Learn when to use; and not use, the indefinite article with nouns that can be either countable or uncountable by clicking here.