• E009 A Bottle of Beer

    Welcome to English with Kimberley.

    In this episode, I want to talk to you about a special way we talk about things that we can’t count.

    For example, ‘beer’ usually can’t be ‘beers’ and the same with ‘water’, ‘sand’, or ‘hair’.

    1. Quiz time!

    Words like ‘water’, ‘sand’ and ‘hair’ are what in English?

    Are they..

    a) nouns?

    b) adjectives?

    c) verbs?

    or d) prepositions?

    Did you get that. Let me repeat the question:

    Words like ‘water’, ‘sand’ and ‘hair’ are what in English?

    Are they…

    a) nouns?

    b) adjectives?

    c) verbs?

    or d) prepositions?

    Well the answer is ‘a’ – ‘nouns  – but they are a special kind of noun called uncountable, because you can’t count them.

    You can’t say, ‘one rain’, two rains’ and so on, can you?

    If we can’t count some nouns how do we make them plural?

    Well we can say something like this, ‘two bottles of beer’ or ‘a bottle of beer’, if we only have one of them

    Where:

    • ‘two’ is the quantity
    • ‘bottle’ is what it comes in
    • ‘of’ for ‘of’
    • and, ‘beer’ for the uncountable noun

    So, we get, ‘two bottles of beer’, or ‘a bottle of beer’ for just one.

    How about these:

    • two cups of water
    • a piece of advice
    • a slice of meat

    And finally, to our fun quiz:

    Australia has a lot of sand, If I go to beach or an Australian desert, how would I count the sand?

    Is it…

    a) a pinch of sand?

    b) a drop of sand?

    c) a flake of sand?

    or d) a grain of sand?

    Let me tell you the question again…

    If I go to beach or an Australian desert, how would I count the sand?

    Is it…

    a) a pinch of sand?

    b) a drop of sand?

    c) a flake of sand?

    or d) a grain of sand?

    Did you get ‘d’ – ‘a grain of sand’ – because we can use: ‘pinch’ for salt; ‘drop’ for water; and ‘flake’ for chocolate.

    If you want to know more about how to count uncountable nouns, try typing ‘uncountable nouns’into your search engine, see what comes up and look at some of the links.

    You can leave your feedback about this podcast on iTunes.

    You can also find a script of this podcast at www.goaustralia.biz

    I hope you have enjoyed this podcast and you’ll join me again.

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