Countable and Uncountable Nouns

George and Lek are students and George asks Lek about her hometown.

George: So Lana, you're from Australia but where exactly in Australia?

Lana: I'm from Cairns. It's up North Queensland and it's near a beach.

George: Oh, really. So it's like a little seaside town?

Lana: Exactly.

George: Oh, that's nice. So, what's the town like?

Lana: We have three beaches that are really interesting to go and lots of tourists come.

George: Oh nice. So, are there many shops or are there many tourist attractions there?

Lana: Yeah, we have lots of tourist attractions and a few market places and shops.

George: Oh cool! Is there much crime or pollution or bad things like that?

Lana: Hmm. There's not a lot of crime but some people do litter.

George: Oh really. OK. Thanks.

Grammar Notes

Point 1: 'Uncountable nouns' are words for materials, abstract ideas, collections or groups that do not have a discrete boundary and are not easy to count.
  1. Wood, paper, leather, water, patience, noise, food, crime, seafood.
Point 2: 'Countable nouns' are separate things that can be counted easily and seen as distinct items.
  1. Bank, hotel, hand, computer, book, car, bottle, student, flag, gate.
Point 3: We can use numbers and the article 'a/an' with countable nouns but not usually with uncountable nouns.
  1. My town has a department store.
  2. I need an egg to make the cake.
Point 4: Some determiners can only be used with countable nouns and some only with uncountable nouns.
  1. There are few hotels in my town.
  2. There is little crime in my town.
Answer these questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
food • hotels • beach • crime • few
  1. My father has tools.
  2. There is little in my town.
  3. There are two in my town.
  4. The best thing in Taiwan is the .
  5. There is a beautiful nearby.