Structure – Making Uncountable Nouns Countable

The focus here is to see how uncountable nouns can be made countable. Countable nouns are those we can count, they usually have singular and plural forms

Example:   girl – girls

box – boxes

man – men

ox – oxen

Uncountable nouns are those that cannot be counted, and they therefore have only the singular form.

Examples: sand, rice, sugar, water, soup, advice, information, furniture, equipment, blood, knowledge, etc.

Uncountable nouns can however be made countable in the following ways:

  1. Using partitives

A partitive is a word or phrase that indicates a part or quantity of something as distinct from a whole. Also called noun partitive. Partitives appear before noncount nouns as well as count nouns.

Example:         a piece/chunk of meat

abottle of wine

acube/pack of sugar.

aplate/pot of soup

atin of milk.

afit of anger

aglass/cup of water

adrop/pint of blood

aloaf of bread

abar of chocolate

a piece of furniture

a clove of garlic

  1. Using Quantifiers

Quantifiers like partitives are used before nouns to indicate the amount or quantity. They can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.

Example:         Step out for some fresh air

Did you bring any luggage to the hotel?

Add a little flour to the dough

We had a lot of fun on our trip

  1. Using the Indefinite Article

An uncountable noun becomes countable when used with the indefinite article to suggest a kind of

Example:                                 bread




  1. Pluralisation
  • Singular and plural forms related in meaning

Plural Form                           Meaning

Cakes                          units of cakes

Foods                          kinds of foods

Difficulties                  instances of difficulties

  • Singular and plural forms remarkably different in meaning.


Plural Form                           Meaning

Works                          factories/books

Lights                          camps/torches


Make the following uncountable nouns countable:

mucus              news                petrol               darkness

butter               information

According to the passage, food is necessary for quick recovery from ill health. Every individual must acquire knowledge of nutritional values and meal preparation


Answer the questions which accompany the passage.

  1. Vocabulary Development – Words Commonly Misspelt

Wrong Spelling                           Correct Spelling

Millenium                                      Millennium

Delibrate                                       Deliberate

Priviledge                                      Privilege

Curiousity                                     Curiosity

Neccessary                                    Necessary

Occurence                         Occurrence

Begining                                        Beginning

Arguement                                    Argument

Truely                                            Truly

Occassion                                      Occasion

Recieve                                         Receive

Possesion                                       Possession

Disatisfaction                                Dissatisfaction

Dinning                                         Dining

Goverment                                    Government

Supplementery                              Supplementary

Questionaire                                  Questionnaire

Billionnaire                                    Billionaire



Correct the following misspelt words

aggresive         secretray          believe (noun)             sergaent           paralell

  1. Writing – Semi-formal Letter

This refers to a letter written to a distant adult relative, an adult family friend, distant pen-pal or an adult acquaintance. It has a lot in common with the informal letter, but also differs from it in many respects, which makes it semi-formal.

Features of a Semi-formal Letter.

  1. Only one address i.e. writer’s address.
  2. Salutation – This comes after the address and it depends on the level of familiarity e.g. ‘Dear

Uncle Wale’

  1. Introduction – (Par. 1): Exchange of pleasantries and reason for writing the letter.
  2. Body of the letter

Paragraph 2, 3 and 4   Here, at least three or more points are discussed. The focus should be the purpose for writing, be it to seek advice, ask for favour, show appreciation for help rendered etc.

  1. Conclusion (Par. 5) Sending of greetings is allowed here.
  2. Subscription: This is usually ‘Yours sincerely’ as it is in informal letter. No signature is


Note that the tone has to be respectful. Use of colloquial expressions must be limited to the barest minimum and use of slang is not allowed. The language should be direct, rather than wordy and circumlocutory as in an informal letter.


You were travelling on a long journey when you got to a point midway on your journey and the vehicle in which you were travelling broke down. It was getting dark and you were anxious to get to the nearest town. Fortunately, somebody whom you had never met, came along and offered you a lift in his car. You also put up with him or her for the night until the second day when you continued your journey and you eventually reached your destination. Write a letter of gratitude to him/her.


  1. Give the past and past participle forms of the following verbs:

awake                    find                 hold                 sweep

beat                       forget              leave                swell

cling                      freeze              shut                 swing

drink                      grind                sow                  take

feel                                    hide                 stand               wring

  1. Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the verbs in brackets
  2. The child had __________ the entire bottle before I came in (drink)
  3. After I told Kola of the accident, he _____________ to cry (begin)
  4. When prices __________ consumers feel happy (fall)
  5. The wind has __________ away my shirt (blow)


Section A

Select the correct answers from the brackets.

  1. A (little/few) boys are still eating in the dining hall
  2. There is (few/little) water for Akin to drink: Please get (a/some) more.
  3. Do you know there are (less/lesser) days in February than January.
  4. The rain this year is (fewer/lesser) than that of last year.
  5. You know there is a (few/little) space we can only stay for a (few/little) minutes.
  6. We have (many/much) men, yet there isn’t (much/many) to be done
  7. Just put in (little/few) salt and give me (a/some) biscuits and a (few/little) orange juice.
  8. Go and cook (few/some) rice and prepare (a/an) stew with the fresh fish I bought.
  9. You make (many/much) noise. I hope you will talk (little/less) when you finish serving the punishment.
  10. Sade has put into the soup (many/much) pepper. The rice even contained (much/many) stones and (much/many)salt. No wonder I couldn’t eat it.

Section B

Practice 2, Effective English page 205

See also

Essay Writing – Articles

Structure – More about Phrasal Verbs

Comprehension – Reading for Critical Evaluation

Speech Work – Rhyme Scheme

Comprehension – Reading for Implied Meanings

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