可数名词与不可数名词

在英文中,名词是可数还是不可数,都会决定前面该用哪个限定词,也会决定后面的动词型态,因此务必要区分名词是可数还是不可数。

可数名词

可数名词可以用数字来计算。这种名词有单数和复数形;单数形的限定词可以用 a 或 an。如果要询问某个可数名词的数量有多少,可以用「How many?」来问,再搭配可数名词的复数形。

单数 复数
one dog two dogs
one horse two horses
one man two men
one idea two ideas
one shop two shops
例句
  • She has three dogs.
  • I own a house.
  • I would like two books please.
  • How many friends do you have?

不可数名词

不可数名词无法用数字来计算。这类名词可能是抽象的概念,或者太小丶非固态的物体(液体丶粉状物丶气体等)。不可数名词会使用动词单数形,通常没有复数形。

举例
  • tea
  • sugar
  • water
  • air
  • rice
  • knowledge
  • beauty
  • anger
  • fear
  • love
  • money
  • research
  • safety
  • evidence

我们不能在不可数名词前面加 a 或 an,如要表达它的数量,就得用 some丶a lot of丶much丶a bit of丶a great deal of 之类的量词来表达,要更确切的话还可以用 a cup of丶a bag of丶1kg of丶1L of丶a handful of丶a pinch of丶an hour of丶a day of 等量词或测量单位。如果想询问数量,可以用「How much...?」来问。

例句
  • There has been a lot of research into the causes of this disease.
  • He gave me a great deal of advice before my interview.
  • Can you give me some information about uncountable nouns?
  • He did not have much sugar left.
  • Measure 1 cup of water, 300g of flour, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • How much rice do you want?

微妙之处

有些名词在别的语言中可数,但在英语中却不可数,因此得遵循不可数名词的规则。这类名词最常见的有:
accommodation, advice, baggage, behavior, bread, furniture, information, luggage, news, progress, traffic, travel, trouble, weather, work

例句
  • I would like to give you some advice.
  • How much bread should I bring?
  • I didn't make much progress today.
  • This looks like a lot of trouble to me.
  • We did an hour of work yesterday.

要特别留意的是 hair 这个名词,在英语中一般是不可数的,因此通常不会用复数形,只有在特指单根头发时才会是可数名词。

例句
  • She has long blond hair.
  • The child's hair was curly.
  • I washed my hair yesterday.
  • My father is getting a few grey hairs now.(指的是一根根的头发)
  • I found a hair in my soup!(指的是单根的头发)