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
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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:
- 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
- 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
- Using the Indefinite Article
An uncountable noun becomes countable when used with the indefinite article to suggest a kind of
- 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
Make the following uncountable nouns countable:
mucus news petrol darkness
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.
- Vocabulary Development – Words Commonly Misspelt
Wrong Spelling Correct Spelling
Correct the following misspelt words
aggresive secretray believe (noun) sergaent paralell
- 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.
- Only one address i.e. writer’s address.
- Salutation – This comes after the address and it depends on the level of familiarity e.g. ‘Dear
- Introduction – (Par. 1): Exchange of pleasantries and reason for writing the letter.
- 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.
- Conclusion (Par. 5) Sending of greetings is allowed here.
- 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.
GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISIONAL QUESTIONS
- 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
- Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the verbs in brackets
- The child had __________ the entire bottle before I came in (drink)
- After I told Kola of the accident, he _____________ to cry (begin)
- When prices __________ consumers feel happy (fall)
- The wind has __________ away my shirt (blow)
Select the correct answers from the brackets.
- A (little/few) boys are still eating in the dining hall
- There is (few/little) water for Akin to drink: Please get (a/some) more.
- Do you know there are (less/lesser) days in February than January.
- The rain this year is (fewer/lesser) than that of last year.
- You know there is a (few/little) space we can only stay for a (few/little) minutes.
- We have (many/much) men, yet there isn’t (much/many) to be done
- Just put in (little/few) salt and give me (a/some) biscuits and a (few/little) orange juice.
- Go and cook (few/some) rice and prepare (a/an) stew with the fresh fish I bought.
- You make (many/much) noise. I hope you will talk (little/less) when you finish serving the punishment.
- 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.
Practice 2, Effective English page 205