What is a Noun? Lesson 15

Theme for this lesson: Global Goal 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


What is a Noun?

Please see on this blog: What is a noun – additional information


Generally nouns can be considered to be countable or uncountable: 

Countable nouns have a singular and a plural form.  For example: book: books / car: cars / dog: dogs / fish: fishes.  Uncountable nouns have only one form: furniture, NOT: furnitures.   For countable nouns the singular form  can use the determiner: a or an.  You can add a number before the noun: two ears / two busses / three stars / five bicycles.  Or, you can add a quantifier before the noun: many people / two people / a lot of people. More examples:

they have two cats / I own a car  /  I would like five books please  /  how many books do you have?

Uncountable nouns are for the things that we cannot count with numbers.  They may be the names for abstract ideas or qualities or for physical objects as well gasses, liquids etc.  Uncountable nouns are used with a singular verb.  They usually do not have a plural form.   For example;

tea / sugar / water / air / knowledge / beauty / anger / fear / love / money / research / safety / evidence

Substances: glass / skin / flesh / copper / zinc / iron.  Liquids: water / wine / rain / milk.  Gasses: air / gas / smoke / steam

We cannot use a or an with these nouns.  To express a quantity of an uncountable noun we can use word or expressions like:  some /  a lot of / much / a bit of / a great deal of.  Or else use an exact measurement like a cup of  / a bag of / 1 kg of / 1 L of / a handful of / a pinch of / an hour of / a day of.   If you want to ask about the quantity of an uncountable noun, you ask: how much?  More examples:

he gave me a great deal of advice before my interview

can you give me some information about uncountable nouns?

he did not have much sugar left

how much rice do you want?


Lesson 15

Vocabulary for the lesson:

Trafficking………this is when goods or services are sold illegally (noun)

Corruption………illegal, unjust and bad behaviour of a person or organisation (noun)

Inclusion…………this is when something or someone is accepted as a part of something (noun)

Achieve…………..to reach a goal or to obtain something which has been worked for (verb)

Productive……..obtaining a good supply of something (adjective)

Productivity…..this relates to how a company or a country produces good and the rate of produce  (noun)

Thrive……………this is when a person is doing well and is successful.  To grow  (verb)



Meeting a friend and having a cup of coffee


Please read this story: 


(nouns are highlighted in blue):

In the last lesson on this blog (Simple Present vs. Present Continuous – lesson 14) I described how I have a friend whose name is John.  John works for an organisation which does a lot of research about different economies around the world including the United Kingdom.  Currently he is working in the UK.

At a recent visit to a local cafe he told me about his latest research project which is based on a global need for a new way of thinking.   Societies around the world need to think carefully about how to tackle crime, injustice, corruption, human trafficking, violence, inclusion.  He described how such things as lack of inclusion as well as corruption, need to be rooted out.

Where there is a high rate of violence in terms of homicide, injustice and corruption for example then positive change becomes difficult.  People cannot be productive or thrive when these kind of circumstances are prevalent.

Where there is unnecessary suffering within a society it means that families and children become victims.   It also means that children’s mental capacity for growth both mentally and physically is stunted and damaged.   Where there is violence, war, corruption and lack of inclusion not only are families and children the victims but this ultimately means that the economy will not be productive.   Also, one of the main points about Global Goal 16 is that if a country is to achieve this goal it needs to have societies within it which are based on a new and better way of looking at things.

After our meeting John told me that he was in a hurry because he had to catch the bus to get to his home.  The busses are not very frequent and if he missed it he would have to wait for the next bus to come along.


Final Task

After reading the story look in your dictionary and see if you can find some of your own nouns which are both countable and uncountable.  Or, in your dictionary see if you can find some abstract nouns which might remind you about the story (above) about: Global Goal 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.   Look for abstract nouns which relate to: qualities or ideas.  For example: safety, air, corruption, society, families, justice.


End of lesson


Next lesson: 

Next on this blog: Adjectives, will be analysed.  This will enable students to have a solid grasp of adjectives before proceeding with further lessons on this blog.


Useful links:

Also on this blog: What is a noun? – additional information

Global Goal 16 – Global Goal 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Global Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions: why they matter

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