Parts of Speech
Count, Mass, and Collective Nouns

Count Nouns

Count nouns refer to anything which can be counted. They have a singular form and a plural form.

The plural usually ends in -s:

singular  car       plan      dollar    piece     apple     dot
plural    cars      plans     dollars   pieces    apples    dots

Most nouns ending in s, sh, o, or ch require an -es suffix to be plural:
singular bus       latch    wish    potato    hero    echo
plural   buses     latches  wishes  potatoes  heroes  echoes

Nouns ending in a consonant followed by y become plural by changing the y to i and adding -es:
singular  worry     story     apology        spy       mystery
plural    worries   stories   apologies      spies     mysteries

Irregular count nouns do not form their plurals using the rules stated above:
singular  man       goose     mouse     crisis    child     ox
plural    men       geese     mice      crises    children  oxen
Mass Nouns

Mass nouns refer to entities which cannot be counted. They do not usually have a plural form.
Examples:   wine, money, justice, time

Note that when we are talking about kinds of wine, we do use a plural.

Example:    He certainly knows his wines!
Collective Nouns

Collective nouns refer to groups of people or things. Collective nouns can usually be counted; therefore, they have plural forms.
Examples:   herd        gang      staff         bunch      state
            herds       gangs     staffs        bunches    states

Count, Mass, and Collective Nouns

By clicking on a bubble, identify the highlighted word as a count, mass, or collective noun. If your response shows as "Incorrect" in the status bar, you can click on the other answers to find the correct one (which will give you "Correct" in the status bar).

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Copyright © 1998
English Department
University of Calgary

Last updated: July 26 1999