Is Countable Noun Singular Or Plural(11 Important Facts)


In this article we are going to discuss facts related to the topic ‘Is Countable Noun Singular or Plural?’.

Countable nouns can be both singular and plural but formation of ‘Singular Countable Noun’ and formation of ‘Plural Countable Noun’ are different from each other.

Can countable nouns be singular?

Yes, countable nouns can be in “Singular Mode”. Nouns are one type of parts of speech that refers words which indicated names of any person, animal, place, thing, organization, institution etc. Nouns can be countable or uncountable. Examples of “Countable Nouns” include pen, pencil, chair, tree, institution etc. Examples of “Uncountable Nouns” are water, fruit etc.

“Countable Nouns” refers to those nouns which can be counted. Single countable nouns can be referred as “Singular Countable Nouns”.

Example – I have an antique study table which has been given to me by my grandfather.

Explanation –

Here, we can see example of “Singular Countable Noun”. We can clearly states that countable nouns can be singular because the noun “study table” in this sentence is in “Singular Mode”.

When countable nouns are singular?

Countable nouns become singular when the referred entity is in “Singular Mode”. “Countable Nouns” can be singular in below listed situations.

Situation One – The countable noun becomes singular if the noun or noun equivalent is name of a “Single Human Being”.

Situation Two – The countable noun becomes singular if the noun or noun equivalent is name of a “Single Animal”.

Situation Three – The countable noun becomes singular if the noun or noun equivalent is name of a “Single Object or Thing”.

Situation Four – The countable noun becomes singular if the noun or noun equivalent is name of a “Single Place or Location”.

Situation Five – The countable noun becomes singular if the noun or noun equivalent is name of a “Single Organization”.

Situation Six – The countable noun becomes singular if the noun or noun equivalent is name of a “Single Substance”.

Situation Seven – The countable noun becomes singular if the noun or noun equivalent is name of a “Single Quality”.

Example – Pradip will present a cat to his best friend on his eighteenth birthday party.

Explanation –

Here, the proper noun “Pradip” will present a cat which is a “Singular Countable Noun”. We can easily understand that there is reference of only one “Cat” in the example. Another point we must note that a “Countable Singular Noun” always starts with a “Definite Article” or with some “Determiners”.

Which countable nouns are singular?

Countable nouns which refer to single entity can be referred as “Singular Countable Nouns”. Countable nouns can be identified as “Singular” with the help of some of the following clues.

Clue One – A countable noun can be detected as “Singular Countable Noun” if it starts with the definite article “a”.

Clue Two – A countable noun can be detected as “Singular Countable Noun” if it starts with the definite article “an”.

Clue Three – A countable noun can be detected as “Singular Countable Noun” if it starts with the definite article “the”.

Clue Four – A countable noun can be detected as “Singular Countable Noun” if it starts with “any, “this” etc.

Example of Clue One –

I am going to have a sparkling dress for the spring fest of my college.

Explanation –

Here, the singular countable noun “dress” has been started with the definite article “a”.

Example of Clue Two –

Please, give me an oyster to cook.

Explanation –

Here, the singular countable noun “oyster” has been started with the definite article “an”.

Example of Clue Three –

Please give back the book which I have lend you for your study.

Explanation –

Here, the singular countable noun “book” has been started with the definite article “the”.

Example of Clue Four –

As far as   my knowledge, this English book is best in its group.

Explanation –

Here, the singular countable noun “English book” has been started with “this”.

Why are countable nouns singular?

Some countable nouns are singular because they refer noun of singular entity. Countable nouns can be both singular and plural but a singular countable noun can refer only one single entity.

Example – There is a guava tree in the farm house of our ancestors.

Explanation –

Here, we can found two countable nouns, guava tree and farm house. The countable noun “guava tree” has the definite article “a” in front of that and the countable noun “farm house” has the definite article “the” in front of the same.

Singular countable noun examples-

Example 1 – I like to buy a jar of fresh almond powder.

Example 2 – Renu is cooking a delicious food item for the lunch party.

Example 3 – Sandip bought a new tennis bat.

Example 4 – We had a great trip to Manali in the last summer vacation.

Example 5 – None of us is interested to try any cup of green tea.

Explanation 1 – Here, the countable noun “jar” can be marked as singular countable noun because the speaker is buying only one jar of fresh almond powder.

Explanation 2 – Here, the countable noun “food item” can be marked as singular countable noun because the proper noun “Renu” is cooking only one delicious food item.

Explanation 3 – Here, the countable noun “bat” can be marked as singular countable noun because the proper noun “Sandip” bought a single piece of tennis bat.

Explanation 4 – Here, the countable noun “bat” can be marked as singular countable noun because the proper noun “Sandip” bought a single piece of tennis bat.

Explanation 5 – Here, the countable noun “cup” can be marked as singular countable noun because there is reference of any one of cup of green tea among the mass.

Can countable nouns be plural?

Yes, countable nouns can be marked as “Plural”. Countable nouns can refer both “Singular Entity” and “Plural Entity”. When any countable noun refers to more than one name of any living being, non-living being, organization, object, thing etc. then it can be marked as “Plural Countable Noun”.

is countable noun singular
Five Examples of “Countable Nouns” in “Singular Mode”

Example – Please show me some blue star studded frocks for my daughter.

Explanation –

Here, the countable noun “frock” can be referred as “Plural Countable Noun” because the speaker is asking for more than one frock.

When countable nouns are plural?

Countable nouns become plural when it refers more than one entity. Let’s look at some situations where countable nouns can be marked as plural.

Situation One – Countable nouns can be in plural mode if the referred noun is also in plural mode.

Situation Two – Countable nouns can be in plural mode if the respective noun doesn’t have any definite article in front of that.

Situation Three – Countable nouns can be marked as plural if the noun is name of more than one unique quality.

Situation Four – Countable nouns can be marked as plural if the noun is name of more than one object or thing.

Situation Five – Countable nouns can be marked as plural if the noun is name of more than one living or non –living being.

Situation Six – Countable nouns can be marked as plural if the noun is name of more than one organization, institutions, location, place.

Situation Seven – Countable nouns can be marked as plural if there is suffix “s” at the end of countable noun.

Example – I have bought sweet boxes for my sweet family.

Explanation –

Here, the countable noun “box” can be marked as plural countable noun because there is reference of more than one sweet box.

Plural countable noun examples-

Example 1 – They gave me pens on the success of my presentation.

Example 2 – Sandip will take his daughter to Zoo to show animals.

Example 3 – We have a huge field of mango trees in our ancestor’s farm house.

Example 4 – I know you for three years but still didn’t find any good qualities in you.

Example 5 – Mira likes to eat burgers with some extra melted chocolate.

Explanation 1 – Here, the countable noun “pen” can be marked as plural countable noun as there is reference of more than one pen. We can note that there is addition of “s” to the singular countable noun “pen” to make it plural.

Explanation 2 – Here, the countable noun “animals” can be marked as plural countable noun as there is reference of more than one animal. We can note that there is addition of “s” to the singular countable noun “animal” to make it plural.

Explanation 3 – Here, the countable noun “trees” can be marked as plural countable noun as there is reference of more than one tree. We can note that there is addition of “s” to the singular countable noun “tree” to make it plural.

Explanation 4 – Here, the countable noun “qualities” can be marked as plural countable noun as there is reference of more than one quality.

Explanation 5 – Here, the countable noun “burgers” can be marked as plural countable noun as there is reference of more than one burger.

Which countable noun can be either singular or plural?

Situation One –

There are some nouns which are always considered as “Plural”, like; information, news, hair etc. We need to add some words in front of that to make them singular countable noun.

Example 1 – We can see the weather news in the afternoon news reading.

Example 2 – We can see a piece of news about weather in the afternoon new reading.

Explanation –

We can see “news” as plural countable noun in the first example while we can see “news” in the singular mode with the help of the words “a piece of news”

Situation Two –

Sometime uncountable nouns can be used as countable nouns with the help of definite articles.

Example 1 – Lizza likes to have wine by sitting in middle of grapes vine.

Example 2 – Lizza asked for a wine by sitting in middle of grapes vine.

Explanation –

“Wine” is an uncountable noun but in the second example “wine” has been transformed to countable noun by the help of definite article “a”.

Conclusion –

Though we can easily change a “Singular Countable Noun” to “Plural Countable Noun” with the help of some suffixes but there are some nouns which are always in plural forms, like; rain, tea, water, news etc.

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