Do you like bananas? I had a banana this morning. It was cold because I put it in the refrigerator last night. I like cold bananas. I like all kinds of fruit, especially grapes and oranges. I had an orange this morning too. When I was a kid, I always had cold cereal with milk for breakfast. Now I like to have yogurt, and sometimes just toast.
I want to spend some time with you talking about articles. English has three articles; a, an, and the. Articles come before a noun, like this: I had a banana this morning. In order to understand articles, you need to understand nouns.
A noun is a person, place, or thing. Words like banana, refrigerator, car, and dog are nouns. There are two kinds of nouns in English, countable and non-countable. A countable noun is a noun that you can count with a number. For example, 1 banana, 2 oranges, 3 dogs, 5 cars, etc.
However, there are nouns that you cannot count with a number. Liquids, like water and milk are not countable. Group nouns, like fruit and furniture are not countable. Abstract nouns like love and trouble are not countable. Nouns like these can not be counted with numbers.
Here is a very brief list of some common and related countable and non-countable nouns:
- suitcase is countable, baggage is non-countable.
- tool is countable, equipment is non-countable.
- apple is countable, fruit is non-countable.
- chair is countable, furniture is non-countable.
- idea is countable, knowledge is non-countable.
- bag is countable, luggage is non-countable.
- coin is countable, money is non-countable.
- story is countable, news is non-countable.
- experiment is countable, research is non-countable.
- car is countable, traffic is non-countable.
- problem is countable, trouble is non-countable.
- job is countable, work is non-countable.
A good dictionary will help when you need to check if a noun is countable or not. In our next lesson we will look at using articles with nouns. Stay tuned!