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The differences between count and non-count nouns can be complicated for ESL learners. Here are some of the problems:

Many nouns can be used only as non-count nouns.

Many nouns are classified as count nouns, but can be used as both count and non-count nouns.

The distinction between those nouns which are count and non-count may seem to be arbitrary. 

"If I can say that I have enough quarters, why can't I say that I have enough moneys?"

Some nouns are only non-count.

Some nouns are classified as count. 





book, books

idea, ideas

inch, inches

month, months 

The distinction between count and non-count nouns is not arbitrary. In each case, think of a context in which the noun could be used as a count noun and a context in which it could be used as a non-count noun. Most nouns are clearly count or non-count within the context in which they are most frequently used. From the student's point of view, it is worth first learning the countability status of a noun. Later, it is a good idea to classify the uses of nouns into count and non-count. 

Chocolate is very fattening. (non-count) vs.. I ate four chocolates from the candy box. (count)

Many nouns which we think of as typically count or typically non-count can be used as nouns in the opposite category in certain contexts. 

When it rained, there was water all over the carpet.vs. The many different waters of the spa are all known for their health benefits.