UNIT 69. Countable Nouns with a/an and some

Australia-32 grammar
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C


Countable nouns can be singular or plural:

a dog
a child
the evening
this party
an umbrella
some children
the evenings
these parties
two umbrellas

Before singular countable nouns you can use a/an:
– Goodbye! Have a nice evening.
– Do you need an umbrella?

You cannot use singular countable nouns alone (without a/the/my, etc.):
– She never wears a hat. (not She never wears hat)
– Be careful of the dog. (not Be careful of dog)
– What a beautiful day!
– I’ve got a headache.


We use a/an … to say what kind of thing of person something/somebody is:
– That’s a nice table.

In the plural, we use the noun alone (not some …)
– Those are nice chairs. (not some nice chairs)

Compare singular and plural:
– A dog is an animal.
– I’m an optimist.
– Tim’s father is a doctor.
– Are you a good driver?
– Jill is a really nice person.
– What a pretty dress!
– Dogs are animals.
– We’re optimists.
– Most of my friends are students.
– Are they good students?
– Jill’s parents are really nice people.
– What awful shoes!

We say that somebody has a long nose / a nide face / blue eyes / small hands, etc.:
– Jack has a long nose.
(not the long nose)
– Jack has blue eyes.
(not the blue eyes)

Remember to use a/an when you say what somebody’s job is:
– Sandra is a nurse. (not Sandra is nurse)
– Would you like to be an English teacher?


You can use some with plural countable nouns. We use some in two ways.
(1) Some = a number of / a few of / a pair of:
– I’ve soon some good movies recently. (not I’ve seen good movies)
– Some friends of mine are coming to stay this weekend.
– I need some new sunglasses. (= a new pair of sunglasses)

Do not use some when you are talking about things in general:
– I love bananas. (not some bananas)
– My aunt is a writer. SHe writes books. (not some books)

Sometimes you can make sentences with or without some (with no difference in meaning):
– These are (some) eggs in the refrigerator if you’re hungry.

(2) Some = some but not all:
– Some children learn very quickly. (but not all children)
– Tomorrow these will be rain in some places, but most of the country will be dry.