Common Noun Mistakes in English

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: We need more moneys.

CORRECT: We need more money.

Why: “money” is an uncountable noun. We cannot say “moneys”.

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

Get Vocabulary, Grammar, and Teaching Tips, Site Updates, and Special Offers Directly to Your Email

Join our mailing list now and get a special bonus:
The first 2 chapters of the English Short Stories Book and Workbook.

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time. We use an email marketing platform. By clicking to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to our email marketing platform for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms.

Click to share:

Similar Posts