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Hi everybody, my name is Alisha. Today I'm going to talk about countable nouns, I'm going to talk about how to make the plural form of countable nouns, I'm going to talk about a few question patterns you can use with countable nouns, and I'm going to talk about some quantifiers for countable nouns. So let's get started!
Okay, so the first point, maybe the most important point, first of all, is that countable nouns are nouns which we can count, we use numbers 1 2 &3 and we can count the numbers of these nouns, they are countable, able to be counted, that's the first point for today's lesson. Second, countable nouns have a singular form, single, here you can see single is the base, one singular form and a plural form, plural meaning more than one. So the words themselves have a singular form, one of something, and a plural form, more than one of something. A couple of notes about singular form and plural form, however, singular form nouns, we have to use a determiner, so for example, determiners are like articles like "a" or "an" or "the" or we could use "this," "that," "my," "his," "her," for example. We need some kind of determiner, something that gives us information about a singular noun, we must use a determiner with a singular noun, so we have to say "a dog" or "his dog" or "my dog." We cannot simply say dog in this with a singular form, so please be careful. If you use the singular form of a noun you need to use a determiner. Ok, let's look at the plural form. My note for the plural form here is that no determiner is required, so you don't always have to use a determiner here with the plural form, "the dogs," "his dogs," "her dogs," for example, but if you're referring generally to a group, no determiner should be used, so this is a very common mistake. For example, if talking about all teachers or all doctors or making general statement about a group of people, for example, no determiner should be used, we should not use "the doctors" or "the teachers" unless you're talking about a specific group of doctors or a specific group of teachers; if you want to make a general statement about all people are all countable nouns in one category, no determiner should be used so please be careful. Okay, so these are two points about the singular form and the plural form so please be careful of this.
Okay, let's continue on to how to make the plural forms of nouns. There are a few different rules to consider here, so first, the regular way to make a plural noun is to just add an -s to the end of the noun, so for example, dogs, we have an -s. Computers and cars, so these are simple simple plural form nouns, we just add an -s to the end of the noun to make the plural form.
However, there are some cases where the spelling will change slightly and the pronunciation will also change slightly. The basic -s sound is still there, however, it's an -es sound, so it's noun plus -es. When do we do this? We do this with nouns that end in -x, in -xh, -ss, -s, or -sh. This is kind of difficult to remember, I think that if you practice, if you read a lot and if you speak a lot, you'll gradually come to understand this. This is something I personally never studied as a native speaker, but through practice, through reading a lot, I gradually came to understand which nouns take -es and which nouns do not. But some examples here, foxes, fox ends in -x so it takes -es in the plural form. Classes, class ends in -ss so we take -es for the plural form. Finally, sandwich, sandwich ends in -ch so we add es, very important, so not sandwiches with no -e, but we need to use an -e in the word "sandwiches," please be careful.
Okay, finally there is one more different spelling for plural nouns here, we have noun plus -ies. If the noun ends in a -y, we drop the -y in the plural form, we cut the -y and add -ies. So a few examples of this are "countries" we have -ies, no -y here. We have "candies," again, no -y, -ies. And "copies," so no -y and -ies.
So these are three ways to make plural forms, adding -es or -ies sound or just a simple -s. So depending on the noun you would like to make plural, you need to kind of remember these rules or at least think about them a little bit until you kind of get used to making nouns correctly.
Okay, but I want to go to something a little bit more challenging, which is nouns which have irregular plural forms. So these are countable nouns but they don't follow the -s rule, we can't just add -s to make these nouns plural. Let's take a look at a few, so one for example, is "person," the noun person, we can say one person, however, the plural form is people, two people, three people, four people; please keep this in mind. Another very common one, especially for pronunciation, is "woman" to "women," and "man" to "men," please be careful of your vowel pronunciation here, in particular "woman" and "women," the first vowel -o here does not change in terms of spelling but in pronunciation it does change, "women" sounds much different than the singular form "woman," so please be careful, sometimes poor pronunciation can cause difficulties in understanding or poor communication, so this is a great pronunciation point, both "woman" and "man." So "man" becomes "men," a very clear vowel sound change there, so these two are a couple to be very very careful of and to practice, as well.
Some nouns, however, do not change in the plural form. Some nouns, for example, fish. Fish does not change, we use fish and fish in the singular and the plural form. If you are curious about how to know whether you're reading something or hearing something about singular fish or plural fish, in most cases you can guess based on the situation based on the context. If it's very very difficult, then I suppose the author might include a number before the word fish, like two fish or three fish, but in most cases this isn't an issue. The same thing applies to sheep, actually, sheep, the plural form of sheep is also sheep, there is no change here but we can count them as two sheep, three sheep, four sheep, for example. Okay, a few more. The singular form of child becomes the plural form children, please be careful there. foot becomes feet, tooth becomes teeth, and one more interesting one, mouse; mouse becomes mice in the plural form, two mice, three mice, four mice. So these are just a few examples of some of the irregular plural forms you can find with countable nouns. This is not everything for sure but these are some very common examples, I think.
Okay, let's continue on to a few question patterns with countable nouns. So the first one I have is how many ______. Please keep in mind when you are asking a quantity question with countable nouns, you need to use "how many," please do not use "how much" with a countable noun; we use "how much" with uncountable nouns. So how many plus an -s sound, don't forget this -s sound, many people forget. How many pens? How many dogs? How many children? In that case, there's no -s sound but if you are using a noun with an -s sound, please make sure that -s sound is very clear; but in any case, you need to use the plural form after "how many." Okay, a couple of other examples, maybe you've seen our other YouTube videos about "any" and "some," so here I have an example, do you [verb] any [plural form]. So here again, there's that -s sound, if your noun ends in an -s, make it very very clear when you pronounce it. So, do you have any pets, for example, or do you need any strawberries, for example. So here I've got verb and I've got "any" plus -s. So this is maybe making an offer or asking for information, something, you need some kind of information if you're asking this question, it wouldn't be an offer, but asking for information. This is the kind of question you might be able to use with countable nouns.
Finally, to make a request. As we talked about in the "some" video, "any" and "some" video, can I have some, plus the plural form. So, can I have some cookies, for example. Or, can I have some cupcakes, for example. So again, please make sure your -s sound is very clear at the end of this sentence.
Alright, the last thing I want to talk about for this lesson is quantifiers. So quantifiers we use with the plural form, please do not use quantifiers with the singular form, we use quantifiers to talk about amounts, how much or how many of something for countable nouns. We're going to talk about how many of something we have or don't have, for example, so we can use "no" with a quantifier. So, I have no pets, for example, we can say that. Or, I don't have any pets, here, I have "don't" plus verb plus "any," so I don't have any pets, or I don't need any cupcakes. I'm thinking about cupcakes today. So, I don't need any _____. So we can replace the verb here with the verb of your choice.
There's "almost no," "almost no," I've kind of put this up a little further on this spectrum from the zero to 100, so it's very close to zero, so, I have almost no pancakes left in my kitchen, for example, so "not very many," in other words.
Just above that, maybe, would be "hardly any," "hardly any." So there are hardly any children in school today, for example, maybe around here on the spectrum.
"A couple of." "A couple of," the word couple is here, it has the nuance of two (2), so there are a couple of dogs in the park, for example.
Just above "a couple of" might be "a few." "A few," in my mind sounds like maybe 3 or 4, for example, like, there are a few birds in the tree outside the office.
"Several" sounds to me like more than a few, a larger number than "a couple of" or "a few," so to use "several" in a sentence, for example, there are several clocks in the office.
The next one I've got "some" here, I've put "some" tentatively at about 50, "some" is very very vague, some can mean a small amount or it can mean maybe a reasonable amount of something, but generally it's somewhere around here on my 0 to 100 scale, so you can feel kind of about how much some is. Yeah, So for example, I ate some… what do I eat today? I ate some salads last week, or something like that. So it's kind of a vague expression, but we can't really guess how many are here, but "some" can tell us just that maybe more than a few were consumed in my example sentence, so some, again, some is rather vague, maybe it's not as clear as some of the other expressions but you can kind of figure it out for yourself when you'd like to use it.
Alright, the next one. "Lots of" and "a lot of" are about in the same point here on the spectrum. So "lotsa" means "lots of" there; There's a good number of something; so for example, I got lots of letters in the mail last Christmas; so refers to a good number of something.
Next up, maybe "quite a few." So "quite a few" of something, so I got quite a few emails last week.
We could say towards the end here we have "tons of" and "a bunch of," these sound rather casual. "Tons of" and "a bunch of," again, very very large quantity. So, I ate tons of sweets last weekend, or I bought a bunch of CDs last weekend, for example, so a very very large quantity.
And finally, we can use the word "all" with countable nouns, like, for example, maybe, all the children went to school today, or all the women in the room left suddenly. So we can use "all" with countable nouns, just, again, please make sure to use the plural form with these.
So all of these are some examples of quantifiers we can use with countable nouns. You'll see, too, I have green stars on some of these, just a note, the ones with green stars, we can use these with countable and uncountable nouns. so I know sometimes it's difficult to guess, is it a countable noun, is it an uncountable noun, what quantifier should I use? I don't know. These are a few that you can use with both countable and uncountable nouns, so if you're stuck, if you can't remember, you can try using one of these, like, "lots of" and "a lot of," "some," these are very very useful ones, I think.
So try to keep these in mind, a couple of these in mind, so if you have trouble remembering which ones are for countable nouns and which ones are for uncountable nouns, you can remember this. Okay, so that's just a quick introduction to countable nouns, I hope that this was useful for you. Thanks very much for watching this lesson, and we'll see you again soon. Bye!