Elisabetta,sound shift, is it the rules themselves that seem illogical, or the fact that some words that are noncount in one language (e.g., research in English) are countable in other languages? My impression is the latter, in which case students certainly do need to understand that countability varies by language. This can be very confusing!
I could show them some chicken salad recipes that would beg to differ. But I understand the point. Language develops in response to communication needs.I think it is a bit of both. Some Turks told me that it is illogical to be able to count grapes, as we can in English, because there is never a need to say "one grape, two grapes, etc."
That is undoubtedly true in a teaching situation, but not at WordReference. Questions or replies that are simply lists are not allowed.Guys, in my teaching experience I have noticed that it is extremely necessary to have a BIG list of countable and uncountable nouns
Thanks for your advice.. you know, I'm new here so I don't know exactly how does this works.. but well... thanks !!!That is undoubtedly true in a teaching situation, but not at WordReference. Questions or replies that are simply lists are not allowed.
Thanks for yor advice.. but I don't know if you can notice that I'm not an English native speaker, so those rules might seem esay for you, but.....As a general rule, if you can make a plural out of it, or, even easier, if you can put a number in front of it (that fits in the context of what you are talking about), it's countable.
Of course, you students would have to be pretty good at making the plural for this to work, but if you are working on less vs fewer, which is usually why you need to know what nouns are countable, they should be past plurals.
"I'd like 3 cash" vx "I'd like 3 dollars"
It doesn't solve every question, and some, like deer and fish, are more tricky because they don't change in the plural, but then you only have to make a list of the odd ones for your class.
I'm sorry, but I don't see a reference to this explanation in this thread...where you explain to us time and water are uncountable because they are unit-words.
In this context: A suggestion, any suggestions.I don't know what to wear tonight. Do you have any suggestion?
Should I use 'suggestions'?
Ah yes, I must write a paper on this topic for the September conference That would be a countable paper....
Paper is non-count so we must use "piece of paper" or "sheet of paper" or "ten pounds of paper".
And it would be printed on paper if published. A substantial paper might run to several sheets of paper. You might only need a few dozen of those papers to make up a pound of paper.Ah yes, I must write a paper on this topic for the September conference That would be a countable paper.
That was the only exception I could think of and fortunately I thought of it in time to include nearlyThe power of suggestion ... non-count.
That, in itself, is probably the only simple ruleI don't think there is any simple rule.
Indeed!If there were, it would long ago have been stated here and we wouldn't have all these many, many threads about count/non-count, countable/uncountable, collective singular/plural and so on.
What a dull world it would be
Not just cooked foods but prepared, e.g. chopped onions, sliced cabbage....So from your list, onions and cabbages clearly are countable.
Trouble is that when the onions and cabbages are cooked, they may become uncountable. ...