GRAMMAR REVISION: COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
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Why do we say There weren’t many people at the party but There wasn’t much wine?
When you look at these sentences carefully, you’ll notice that it all depends on the noun. People are countable, in that you can count them – 1 person, 2 people. Wine, on the other hand, cannot be counted. You cannot say 1 wine, 2 wines. 2 glasses (or bottles!) of wine, yes, but not just 2 wines. So wine is an uncountable noun.
Countable nouns are nouns we can talk about in the singular and in the plural. Uncountable nouns usually don’t have a plural form.
Countable nouns are objects and things, which is why they are able to be easily counted. Uncountable nouns, on the other hand, are usually abstract concepts (knowledge, advice) or things or objects which are of a substance such that it is difficult to count (sand, milk).
How do we use countable and uncountable nouns?
Countable and uncountable nouns differ in which quantifiers can be used with them. Countable nouns can use: many, a few; uncountable nouns use: much, a little. Both sets of nouns can use: lots of or a lot of.
What problems do learners have with countable and uncountable nouns?
The first problem learners have with countable and uncountable nouns is understanding the concept and so using incorrect quantifiers.
For example: How many money do you have?
The second problem arises because certain nouns can be countable and uncountable depending on their usage.
I’ve seen that movie many times.
I didn’t have time to do my homework.
Here, time is countable in the first sentence but uncountable in the second.
A final problem is the fact that uncountable nouns are not used in the plural. Learners may not realise this and may use them in the plural form. This may also be a transfer problem from their first language in which the same noun is countable.
For example: He gave me a lot of informations about the course.
When teaching your students about the different parts of speech, don’t gloss over nouns because you think they are a simple aspect of English. In fact, there are lots of rules relating to nouns which need to be clarified to our learners in order for them to be able to use nouns appropriately in their English production. You need to actually focus on the grammar of nouns. In other words, you need to make sure your students know not only the form, meaning and pronunciation of the words, but also the rules governing their use.
A helpful teaching idea is to utilise a categorisation activity in class. Write down a set of countable and uncountable nouns on big pieces of paper and allow the students to put them into two categories on the board – countable and uncountable. Allowing them time to think about and discuss the nouns will help them remember the rules.
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LAST UPDATED: 27th August 2021
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Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.