a. There are some nouns that are usually uncountable in English but often countable in other languages.
News, advice, information, knowledge, furniture, luggage, accommodation, baggage, behaviour, bread, chaos, damage, luck, permission, progress, scenery, traffic, weather, work
These nouns are usually uncountable, so:
1. you cannot use a/anwith them
2. they are not normally plural (we don’t say “breads”, “advices” etc.):
I’m going to buy some breador …a loaf of bread(not a bread)
3. They are used with a singular verb.
The news was very depressing.
4. Sometimes we have plural forms for these “uncountables”, but with a different meaning.
The desk is made of Some words are never used in the plural wood (material).
There are some pretty woods in England (collection of trees).
b.Some nouns end in -icsbut are not usually plural. They are used with a singular verb.
Mathematics (or maths), physics, electronics, economics, politics, gymnastics, athletics, billiards, politics
measles (корь), mumps (свинка)
Gymnastics is my favourite sport.
Some words have no singular
a.plural nouns with no singular. They are used with a plural verb.
surroundings окрестности, среда
belongings вещи, пожитки
b. Sometimes we use a plural noun for one thing that has two parts. (парные сущ.)
Some Some words are never used in the plural singular nouns can be used with a plural or singular verb. These nouns are all groups of people. (собирательные сущ.)
a. We often think of them as a number of people (=they), not one thing (=it). So we use a plural verb.
The government (=they) want to increase taxes.
The staff at the school (=they) are not happy with their new working conditions.
b.A singular verb is also possible.
Every family here owns a house.
10. With compound nouns, if they are made of two nouns – as they very frequently are –
a.only the last part takes the plural form, e.g Some words are never used in the plural.
Housemaid - housemaids
Shoemaker – shoemakers
Classroom – classrooms
Armchair – armchairs
Forget-me-not – forget-me-nots
N.B. There is one exception to this rule. If the first part of the word is man or woman, then both words take the plural form, e.g.
Manservant – menservants
b.if the compound noun is made with a preposition, then only the first part takes the plural form, e.g.
father-in-law - fathers-in-law
man-of-war - men-of-war
11. The following singular expressions usually have plural verbs:
A number of
A number of us are worried about it.
The majority of
The majority disagree.
A couple of
There are Some words are never used in the plural a couple of children outside.
A group of
A lot of + plural noun/pronoun
A lot of them were late.
The rest of + plural noun/pronoun
The rest of the members are ill.
12. Some plural expressions have singular verbs:
Latin, Greek and French plurals