Count versus Noncount Nouns
Before getting into articles specifically, it’s necessary to discuss “count” versus “noncount” nouns. Many languages make a similar distinction, but what is considered countable and not countable often seems arbitrary and varies from language to language.
In English, nouns tend to be one or the other. Below are a series of sentences using the noncount noun “ice” and another series of sentences using the count noun “girl.” Notice which sentences are grammatical and which are ungrammatical:
Noncount noun: ice
Sentences #1-5 are ungrammatical, while sentences #6-8 are grammatical.
Count noun: girl
Sentences #1-5 are grammatical, while sentences #6-8 are ungrammatical.