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Grammar 03 - Determiners - Countable and Uncountable Nouns 1
"I've paid little attention to how much rain we've had." Both 'attention' and 'rain' are uncountable nouns.

Grammar 03 - Determiners - Countable and Uncountable Nouns 1

In the previous two High English quizzes we were exposed to determiners that included articles, demonstrative determiners and possessive determiners. In this quiz we look at determiners used for countable and uncountable (or quantifying) nouns.

To recapitulate, determiners help to determine the identity of things, places or names. In other words determiners are used to modify nouns. Often, we find occasions to express something in a quantifying manner to ensure our communication drives home a point effectively. In such cases we need determiners that are specifically aimed at quantifying nouns. It is possible that we can be very precise and say exactly ‘how many’, or be general and indicate a range which may give the reader or listener some idea of the magnitude of the things being discussed in the communication.

Countable nouns are those that can be counted using numbers. For instance, in the phrases FIVE TABLES, SIX STUDENTS or ONE CHAIR the nouns mentioned are countable nouns.

Uncountable nouns are nouns to which we cannot attach a number. For instance, we cannot ask for TWO WATER; but we could ask for SOME WATER.

From these examples we can gather that some determiners can be used for countable nouns but not for uncountable nouns. Another facet of countable nouns is the singular and plural forms. For instance, we can say A CHAIR or TWO CHAIRS. Uncountable nouns do not usually have a plural form. We cannot ask for TWO WATERS.

A simple mnemonic to discern between countable and uncountable nouns is to answer the question ‘how many’ for countable nouns and ‘how much’ for uncountable nouns. Also, uncountable nouns do not use the article ‘a’ or ‘an’.

Among the common determiners used for countable nouns are ALL, EVERY, EACH, TWO (or any other number), FEW, MANY and MOST. Among the common determiners used for uncountable nouns are ENOUGH, LITTLE, MORE, SOME and MUCH.

It is just a matter of practice to master the use of determiners for countable and uncountable nouns and the quiz that follows helps you on your way to learning all about them.

1.
"I've paid ______ attention to how ____ rain we've had."
Fill up the two blanks with the appropriate determiners from the following options.
Few, Much
An, Much
Little, Many
Little, Much
Both nouns are uncountable nouns and hence the appropriate determiners are 'Little' and 'Much'. The other options contain at least one determiner that is used for countable nouns
2.
"___ pupil of this section has passed the exam with a distinction."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate determiner from the following options.
Many
Each
Any
Four
'Each' is a determiner associated with countable nouns and 'pupil' is a countable noun. Options 1 and 4 could have been used if the noun were in plural form. Option 3 is not appropriate for the context of the sentence
3.
"Can you give me ____ information about determiners?"
Fill up the blank with the appropriate determiner from the following options.
Another
Many
Some
Several
Information is an uncountable noun and hence 'some' is the appropriate determiner. 'More' would also have worked, were it an option. The other three options are associated with countable nouns
4.
"____ tigers that escaped from the zoo were found wandering on the road."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate determiner from the following options.
Either
Each
One
Five
In the context of the sentence 'five' is the appropriate determiner. The other options do not match the context of the sentence
5.
"My _____ brother is shorter than me."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate determiner from the following options.
Any
Two
Other
Some
'Other' is a determiner as brother is a countable noun. Options 1 and 2 are not appropriate to the context of the sentence. Option 4 is a determiner associated with uncountable nouns
6.
"She has hardly read ___ of the book."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate determiner from the following options.
Any
Some
Many
Little
'Any' is the appropriate determiner as book is a countable noun. Options 2 and 3 could have been used if the noun was plural. Option 4 is usually used for uncountable nouns
7.
"He drove with ___ care and was hauled up by the police."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate determiner from the following options.
Many
Three
Much
Little
'Little' is the determiner to be used as 'care' is an uncountable noun. Option 3 could be used if the context were right, but the police don't stop you for being careful! Options 1 and 2 are determiners associated with countable nouns
8.
"It appears to us that we've had ____ assignments in Science this semester."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate determiner from the following options.
Much
Many
Another
Either
Since 'assignments' is a countable noun 'many' is the appropriate determiner. Option 1 is used for uncountable nouns while options 3 and 4 are inappropriate in the context of the sentence
9.
"____ house with the odd shape belongs to _____ people standing near the gate."
Fill up the two blanks with the appropriate determiners from the following options.
That, Those
Those, That
A, Those
My, Those
'That' and 'those' are the appropriate determiners in the context of the sentence and option 2 has them in the wrong order. Option 3 has the indefinite article, which is inappropriate for the sentence. Option 4 has a possessive determiner whereas a demonstrative determiner is to be used
10.
"___ persons know as much about cars as Abhinav does."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate determiner from the following options.
Few
Much
An
Any
Person is a countable noun and 'few' is the appropriate determiner. Option 2 is associated with uncountable nouns and the other options are not appropriate to the context of the sentence
Author:  V T Narendra

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