How to Count Uncountable Nouns

“What kind of crazy talk is this, Marc? You can’t count uncountable nouns!” I hear you say. Oh, yes you can. You only have to use your loaf.

Use The Container or a Collective Noun

What is a container or collective noun?

It’s the way you count things. You can say you have some bread but if you want to tell someone exactly you might tell them you have two loaves of bread or three slices of bread.

Some common ones:

  • Bag
  • Bags may be used to count flour and sugar and things like that.

  • Bottle
  • Small amounts if liquid come in bottles.

  • Can
  • sometimes drinks or meat come in cans.

  • Carton
  • Cartons contain milk and juice.

  • Case
  • You can buy beer and wine by the case (a box of bottles).

  • Head
  • Use ‘head’ for lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower.

  • Jar
  • Jam, and other sticky solids are kept in jars.

  • Sack
  • Usually potatoes but also sand, cement and such things are transported in sacks.

  • Tub
  • ice cream comes in tubs.