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COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE. In GRAMMAR, contrasting categories of NOUN. A countable noun (also count noun, unit noun) can be both singular and plural, whether regular in form (book/books, fox/foxes) or irregular (child/children, sheep/sheep). In the singular, a countable noun cannot be used without a determiner or a possessive: a book, one book, my book, that book, John's book, but not *book alone. An uncountable noun (also non-count noun, mass noun) has no plural forms, takes only a singular verb, and can occur without a determiner: furniture as in The furniture has arrived is uncountable, but chair and table as in They bought some chairs and a table are countable. Some words can be used both countably and uncountably: wine, as in This is a splendid wine and Have some more wine. Some words are normally countable or uncountable, but in certain contexts may have special uses: money is normally uncountable, even though one can count the thing to which it refers: the forms moneys, monies occur only in limited financial contexts. Many abstract nouns are uncountable, but not all uncountable nouns are abstract. In general, countable and uncountable are subcategories of common noun, but not all common nouns fit the categories: scissors, trousers, and other words for things consisting of two parts; cattle, clothes and other words that are plural only. Compare COLLECTIVE NOUN.