Grammar Talks 2-04 | Beginner | Singular vs Plural Nouns with Articles

House and Things

Aimee and Todd talk about all the stuff they have in their homes.

Aimee: So, Todd, do you like your house?

Todd: I do. It's a nice house, but it's an old house. It's very old.

Aimee: How many rooms are in your house?

Todd: My house has four rooms, a living room, a sleeping room, a study room, and a kitchen.

Aimee: That sounds big. How about bathrooms? How many bathrooms do you have?

Todd: I have two bathrooms or toilets, and then I have one washing room to take a shower.

Aimee: Oh, nice. Do you have a TV?

Todd: I do have a TV in the living room, and I have a big couch and a nice table, and I have cable TV.

Aimee: Wow.

Todd: I have cable, but I don't watch TV much.

Aimee: Oh, well, what about your kitchen. Do you have a kitchen?

Todd: I do. I have a very small kitchen. My kitchen has one stove, a small stove, a table, and a refrigerator, and a microwave. I can cook, but it's not easy.

Aimee: Oh, how many chairs do you have in the kitchen.

Todd: We only have two chairs. It's very, very small.

Aimee: Do you have a kettle?

Todd: I do have a kettle. Do you want coffee?

Aimee: No. It's an important, important kitchen appliance.

Todd: It is. It is. I like that kettle. I think, in American English, we say "Coffee pot."

Aimee: Really?

Todd: Yeah. Do we say, "Kettle?" Maybe. I don't know. I don't know American English. I need to learn.

Aimee: For me, a kettle is something you use to boil water, so you could be making tea or coffee.

Todd: True.

Aimee: It doesn't matter.

Todd: Maybe we do say kettle. We say kettle. Sorry.

Aimee: How about books, Todd? Do you have many books?

Todd: No. I have a rule. I only keep two books.

Aimee: What?

Todd: Yeah. If I want a new book, I must get rid of a book.

Aimee: Wow.

Todd: Only two. Never three. I don't like having three, four-

Aimee: hat is so strict.

Todd: It is. It is very strict. My rule, strange rule.

Aimee: How about clothes? Do you have a lot of clothes?

Todd: No. I am a minimalist. That means I have few items of clothing. I think I have maybe five shirts and three pairs of pants-

Aimee: Wow.

Todd: And two pairs of shoes.

Aimee: Wow. It sounds great.

Todd: It is, kind of, but I'm 47. I'm old, so it's okay. I can wear the same clothes every day. It's okay.

Aimee: In your house, do you have a patio?

Todd: I do, but it's really old, and it's not safe. It can fall. It's old, so I don't use it, but I have a small area to go outside, a small garden. It's nice.

Aimee: Sounds nice. Sounds like a great house.

Todd: It is, it is. Old, but nice.

Singular vs Plural Nouns with Articles

Point 1: We use plural nouns when we talk about more than one item. We add an (s) to the noun.
  1. I have many books.
  2. I don't have a history book.
  3. I have a cat and two dogs.
Point 2: We use the article a and an before a singular noun for an item that is not specific to the listener.
  1. I have an old computer.
  2. She has a nice house.
  3. I have a big kitchen.
  4. I don't have an umbrella.
Point 3: Once the listener knows about the item, we use the article the instead of a or an in future references.
  1. To make an omelet, crack an egg. Then whisk the egg.
  2. Then get a pan. Cook the egg in the pan.
  3. Then get a plate. Put the egg on the plate.
  4. Then get a fork. Use the fork to eat the omelet.
Point 4: When we talk about items in general, use the plural form, often without the article the.
  1. Books are important.
  2. Do you like apples?
  3. Everybody needs friends.
  4. I don't like watching movies.
Point 5: We use the article the before plural nouns when we refer to a specific group of items.
  1. I bought the books you asked for.
  2. The streets in my town are very clean.
  3. I love the cookies my mother makes.
  4. The students in my class like to play games.
Answer the following questions about the interview.