Your Money or Your Life: A speaking activity to practice tricky mass nouns

Click to listen to my intro to the activity “Your Money or Your Life”.

Some mass nouns are tricky because they can have both a countable and uncountable meaning. Help students by reminding them that a mass noun is usually abstract. We can use a mass noun as a singular or plural noun when the meaning becomes more specific and we are talking about types or units. For example, you might go to the store knowing you want some cheese (mass noun – general category), and then you ask the guy behind the deli counter to recommend a mild cheese (count noun – specific type).  Note also how the use of quantifiers and articles changes along with the meaning.

Please click to view:  Your Money or Your Life_handout. The activity prompts short conversations based on questions that contextualize nouns that can have a countable or uncountable meaning. I recommend that you try a couple of questions first and then highlight the grammar before continuing on. However, you have the freedom to decide the best placement of focused study.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. sultan23c says:

    Hello Jennifer,
    I really like it and i love your teaching thanks alot.
    Many food words can be either count nouns or mass nouns.
    Non count nouns are often called mass nouns.
    A mass noun is used only in the singular.
    List examples of mass nouns or non count nouns….

    meat
    milk
    money
    music
    pollution
    research
    sand
    soap
    food
    furniture
    The word furniture is a mass noun.
    the furniture
    much furniture
    some furniture
    a furniture
    many furnitures
    I’m not understanding about many furnitures (adding es)
    Thanks again!

  2. raf says:

    I wish I knew this website since 2007 when you started it.

    1. Better late than never!🙂
      I’m glad you found this resource for teachers. Feel free to post questions related to your own teaching whenever you have them. We can figure out the answers together.
      Regards,
      Jennifer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s