NOUNS AND ARTICLES
Count nouns are for things you can count.
These are made plural by adding —s or —
es if the nouns are regular. Examples of
count nouns are: service/services; tax/taxes.
There are many irregular count nouns like
child/children. Singular count nouns usually
need an article. Noncount nouns are
considered units. They do not have a plural
form and they take singular verbs.
Examples of noncount nouns are: English,
The definite article the is used for
specific reference or to talk about
something that has already been
mentioned. The indefinite articles a and
an are used for general reference. The
indefinite article ‘a’ is used before
words that begin with a consonant
sound like /b/, a bill, or /l/, a letter. An is
used before words that begin with a
vowel sound like /a/, an apple, or /o/, an
When you change a singular
count noun with a or an (an
apple) to a plural, you don’t
use any article (apples).
STRATEGIES FOR COUNT/ NONCOUNT
NOUN AND ARTICLE ITEMS
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:
1. Are you using a noncount or plural noun as
a general term? If so, is no article used?
INCORRECT [The tea is always refreshing
after a heavy meal.]
CORRECT Tea is always refreshing after a
2. Are you referring to a general count noun
item? Is it a singular count noun? If so, is a/an
INCORRECT [Job applicant needs to be
CORRECT A job applicant needs to be
3. Are you referring to a specific noncount item?
If so, is the used?
INCORRECT [Coffee that was just made is too
CORRECT The coffee that was just made is too
1. Store managers (A) receive
the cash (B) as a monthly
bonus (C) for the good job (D)
they have done.
Bonus (n) (pl. -es) an extra
amount of money that is
added to a payment, especially
to sb’s wages as a reward: a
£100 Christmas bonus.
2. A secretary (A) told me
important file (B) had been
left in the lunch room (C) just
the other day (D).
3. The business (A) and
traffic (B) have increased in
the area (C) surrounding the
new construction (D).
4. The part-time clerk (A) in
the copy center (B) didn’t
know how to add a paper (C)
to the copying machine (D).
5. The supervisor (A) promised
the assistant (B) who had the most
seniority (C) that he’d get
promotion (D) soon.
Seniority (n) the fact of being
older or of a higher rank than
others: a position of seniority
6. When you go to the office
supply store (A), please pick up
pens (B), black ink cartridge (C),
and rubber bands (D).
Cartridge (n) a thin tube
containing ink which you put
inside a pen
Rubber band (BrE also elastic
band) (n) a thin round piece of
rubber used for holding things
7. The architects (A) are sending
over the floor plans (B) that you
saw at meeting (C) you had last
week in the Cantor Building (D).
8. Rabbit (A) is a wonderful
dish (B) served in Italian
restaurant (C) around the
corner (D) from here.
9. Where’s report (A) I left on
the table (B) next to the TV
(C) in the living room (D)?
10. Let me know if the phone
rings (A) because I’m expecting
the call (B) from a client (C) in the