English Grammar

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EXERCISES for CHAPTER 16. UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

1. For the following sentences, fill in the blanks with a or an or leave the blanks empty, as appropriate. Fill in the blanks with a or an before countable nouns, and leave them empty before uncountable nouns. For example:
      __ bird is singing outside the window.
      A bird is singing outside the window.

      ___ copper is used in making electrical wiring.
      Copper is used in making electrical wiring.

1. ___ air is made up of elements such as ___ oxygen and ___ nitrogen.
2. ___ book is lying on the floor.
3. ___ Russian is a difficult language.
4. ___ onion is ___ vegetable.
5. ___ butter and ___ cream are made from ___ milk.
6. ___ letter has been delivered to the wrong house.
7. ___ child is playing on the sidewalk.
8. ___ asbestos is a fireproof material.
9. ___ tree is growing outside the house.
10. ___ curiosity is considered a sign of ___ intelligence.
11. They want to buy ___ camera.
12. ___ egg was added to the soup.
13. ___ rain is expected this evening.
14. The farmers wished for ___ peace and ___ prosperity.
15. ___ bicycle is parked in front of the store.
Answers

2. Paying attention to whether the nouns in the following paragraphs are countable or uncountable, and to whether or not the nouns refer to things which have been mentioned before, fill in the blanks with a or the, or leave the blanks empty, as appropriate.

Phil Jones was ____ prospector, who was looking for ____ gold. He had to travel a long way, crossing ___ mountains and ____ streams to reach his destination.

Previously, he had been ____ miner and had mined ___ copper and ___ coal. But ____ copper had given out, and mining ____ coal was dangerous work. When he had heard about ___ gold in ____ mountains, Phil had left his job and traveled west. He knew he would need ___ courage and ___ determination to reach his goal.

One evening he camped beside ___ stream. When he tested ____ stream, he found there was a small amount of glittering gold dust in it. As usual, Phil made ___ fire to prepare his evening meal. He took ____ ___ flour and ___ salt from his knapsack, and got ___ water from ____ stream. Then he mixed ___ salt with ___ flour, and gradually added ___ water, to make ___ pancakes over ___ fire.

As ___ fire died away, Phil looked up and down ___ stream. Expecting to see only ___ darkness, to his surprise, he saw ____ lights from many small fires. He knew they must be ____ fires of other prospectors. "I've reached end of my journey", he thought. Now he was in the goldfields, and with ___ luck, he would find ___ gold he had come to seek.
Answers

3. For each of the following sentences, change the word one to two, put the subject of the verb into the plural, and make sure that the verb agrees with its subject. For example:
      One bar of soap will be provided.
      Two bars of soap will be provided.

      One bag of flour is on the counter.
      Two bags of flour are on the counter.

1. One piece of luggage is allowed per passenger.
2. One bottle of water is enough.
3. One jar of honey is larger than the others.
4. One piece of furniture will be delivered.
5. One grain of rice has fallen onto the table.
6. One bucket of sand was needed to build the sand castle.
7. One cup of sugar should be mixed with the flour.
8. One game of chess will be played at four o'clock.
Answers

4. Fill in each blank with a or an if the noun following the blank is used as a countable noun, or leave the blank empty if the noun following the blank is used as an uncountable noun. For example:
      The bowl is made of ___ glass.
      The bowl is made of glass.

      Would you like __ glass of water?
      Would you like a glass of water?

1. The sun gives off ___ heat and ___ light.
2. There is ___ light suspended from the ceiling.
3. She will buy ___ paper to find out what movies are being shown.
4. ___ paper can be made from ___ wood or ___ cloth.
5. She has a keen sense of ___ honor.
6. It is ___ honor to be invited to speak.
7. There is ___ bed near the window.
8. He has gone to ____ bed early because he is tired.
9. ___ iron used in making ___ steel.
10. If I had ___ iron, I would press my new suit.
11. They always eat ___ lunch at twelve o'clock.
12. We will pack you ____ lunch to take with you.
Answers

5. Paying attention to which verbs can be followed by an infinitive and which can be followed by a gerund, for each sentence, fill in the blank with the infinitive or gerund of the verb shown in brackets. For example:
      Please stop _____ that! (to do)
      Please stop doing that!

      He has decided _______ a holiday. (to take)
      He has decided to take a holiday.

1. Has he finished __________ the report? (to read)
2. We plan __________ the concert. (to attend)
3. They will discuss __________ a club. (to organize)
4. She offered _________ the letter. (to write)
5. They asked __________ us. (to accompany)
6. You should practise __________ the speech. (to give)
7. I would suggest __________ the work by next week. (to finish)
8. He has not dared __________ you. (to contradict)
9. They delayed _________ us. (to call)
10. She deserves ___________. (to succeed)
11. We forgot _________ the letter. (to mail)
12. He enjoys __________. (to ski)
13. They would not risk _________ the bus. (to miss)
14. Do you want __________ the book? (to borrow)
15. I don't mind _________. (to wait)
16. Her daughter is learning __________ a bicycle. (to ride)
17. It has stopped __________. (to snow)
18. He is preparing __________ a business. (to open)
19. They hesitated __________ the invitation. (to accept)
20. I miss __________ from them. (to hear)
Answers
 

ANSWERS for CHAPTER 16. UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

Answers to Exercise 1:
1. __ Air, __ oxygen, __ nitrogen 2. A book 3. __ Russian 4. An onion, a vegetable 5. __ Butter, __ cream, __ milk 6. A letter 7. A child 8. __ Asbestos 9. A tree 10. __ Curiosity, __ intelligence 11. a camera 12. An egg 13. __ Rain 14. __ peace, __ prosperity 15. A bicycle

Answers to Exercise 2:
a prospector, __ gold. __ mountains, __ streams. a miner, __ copper, __ coal. the copper, the coal. the gold, the mountains, __ courage, __ determination. a stream. the stream. a fire. __ flour, __ salt, __ water, the stream. the salt, the flour the water, __ pancakes, the fire. the fire, the stream. __ darkness, __ lights. the fires. the end. __ luck, the gold.

Answers to Exercise 3:
1. Two pieces of luggage are allowed 2. Two bottles of water are 3. Two jars of honey are 4. Two pieces of furniture will be delivered. 5. Two grains of rice have fallen 6. Two buckets of wand were needed 7. Two cups of sugar should be mixed 9. Two games of chess will be played

Answers to Exercise 4:
1. __ heat, __ light 2. a light 3. a paper 4. __ Paper, __ wood, __ cloth 5. __ honor 6. an honor 7. a bed 8. __ bed 9. __ Iron, __ steel 10. an iron 11. __ lunch 12. a lunch

Answers to Exercise 5:
1. reading 2. to attend 3. organizing 4. to write 5. to accompany 6. giving 7. finishing 8. to contradict 9. calling 10. to succeed 11. to mall 12. skiing 13. missing 14. to borrow 15. waiting 16. to ride 17. snowing 18. to open 19. to accept 20. hearing

 

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