Let’s learn about some common noun mistakes in English. By avoiding these mistakes, you can significantly improve your writing.
A quick reminder: a noun is a word that names a person, place, or thing. For example: man, Alice, Sweden, box, and cat are nouns.
1 These Nouns Have No Plural Form
Many nouns in English cannot be counted, and so do not have a plural form. For example, surprisingly, you cannot count “money”. (You can count coins and papers, but we do not say “1 money, 2 money, 3 money”, right?) Therefore, money is an uncountable noun, and it has no plural form. We cannot say “moneys”.
There are many uncountable nouns in English. Let’s look at some correct and incorrect examples:
INCORRECT: The house has new furnitures.
CORRECT: The house has new furniture.
Why: “furniture” is an uncountable noun. We cannot say “furnitures”.
INCORRECT: These documents contain personal informations.
CORRECT: These documents contain personal information.
Why: “information” is an uncountable noun. We cannot say “informations”.
Part 1: Test Your Understanding
2 It Seems Plural But It Is Actually Singular
The word “news” is uncountable. It seems plural, because it has an S at the end. But since we cannot count it (cannot say “1 news, 2 news, 3 news”), it is actually singular.
INCORRECT: The news spread so fast.
CORRECT: The news spreads so fast.
Why: “news” is an uncountable noun. This means it is singular, and we use it with a singular verb.
INCORRECT: Physics are my favorite subject.
CORRECT: Physics is my favorite subject.
Why: “physics” is an uncountable noun. This means it is singular, and we use it with a singular verb.
INCORRECT: Billiards require skill and accuracy.
CORRECT: Billiards requires skill and accuracy.
Why: “billiards” is an uncountable noun. This means it is singular, and we use it with a singular verb.
Part 2: Test Your Understanding
3 It May Seem Singular But It Is Actually Plural
Some nouns in English only have a plural form. This means that we cannot use them as singular nouns.
Examples: pants, jeans, scissors, clothes, pajamas, headphones
INCORRECT: Jane’s new pants is black.
CORRECT: Jane’s new pants are black.
Why: “pants” is a plural noun, so we should use it with a plural verb.
INCORRECT: I need a new pajamas.
CORRECT: I need new pajamas.
Why: “pajamas” is a plural noun, so we do not put “a” in front of it.
INCORRECT: This headphones is not working.
CORRECT: These headphones are not working.
Why: “headphones” is a plural noun, so we should use it with words in the plural form.
Part 3: Test Your Understanding
End of Sample Lesson
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