TANTUM NOUNS (uncountable)
tin, sand, coal, bread, cheese, wine, tea, water, fruit, money,
hair, coffee, butter, furniture, clothing)
NB! Some of them may become
countable with a change of meaning:
iron(s) – утюг,
tin(s)-конс.банка , a coal(s)-уголёк, a
coffee(s)-порция кофе, a butter –пачка масла,
teas, wines, mineral waters
– different kinds; the
sands of Sahara, the blue skies of Italy.
of showing partition:
A ball of string, a bar of
chocolate, a block of ice, a heap of earth, a loaf of bread, a
lump of coal (sugar), a slice of bacon(bread), a stick of chalk
(dynamite), a sheet of paper, a strip of land, an article of
furniture, a grain of rice, a pile(heap) of rubbish, a blade of
grass, a drop of water(blood), a (bit) piece of …
information, knowledge, permission, progress, weather, news,
Some of them may become countable with a change of meaning: a
beauty(ies) – красавица,
youth(s) – юноша.
of showing partition:
piece of advice(news), an item of news, a word of advice.
He gave me some pieces of advice.
(physics, mathematics, phonetics, linguistics) are in the singular
(IS) unless we put “these”
and they express processes (is/are):
These acoustics are(is) unreliable. Your phonetics are(is) as
good as they were.
mumps, rickets, shingles IS
draughts, dominoes, bowls, darts, cards, fives IS.
When used attributively –s
is omitted: a
Naples, Wales, the United Nations, the United States, Brussels,
PLURALIA TANTUM NOUNS
предметы одежды и инструменты:
braces, breeches, shorts,
knickers, pants, pincers, pliers, pajamas, scales, scissors,
tights, tongs, trousers, drawers, suspenders)
[can be used with a
pair of … ]
Middle Ages, annals, arms, ashes, belongings, clothes,
credentials, damages (pay*), dregs, earnings, goods, manners,
odds, outskirts, pains, particulars, premises, quarters, remains,
resources, shortcomings, surroundings, the tropics, valuables,
whereabouts, brains, contents, customs, fireworks, holidays,
wages, wits, clergy, folk, people, police, vermin, youth,
graffiti, the rich, the poor, the sick, the Midlands, the
…; if the name ends in s,ss,ch,sh,x,z
the Johneses, the Goozes)
board, class, the clergy, the aristocracy, committee, (the)
Congress, crew, crowd, the elite, family, flock the gentry,
government, group, herd, jury, majority, minority, Parliament, the
Proletariat, the public, staff, team IS
number of …
agrees with a plural verb. e.g.
There were a number of people there.
(=10 people on the staff), 20
(=20 crewmen). 40