Countable and uncountable nouns: what are they, and why are they important? Read on to learn about these two categories and discover some words that can be both countable and uncountable nouns . . . like the word “coffee.” Then learn about some of San Diego, Little Italy’s coolest coffee shops!
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Countable nouns refer to things that can be counted. (This means that we usually add an “s” or “es” to the noun when it is plural.)
Sometimes, the plural form is irregular.
Why is it important to categorize countable and uncountable nouns? With countable nouns, we can use “a” or “an” in front of the word. With uncountable nouns, this is not the case.
Uncountable nouns cannot be counted, and therefore do not have a different word for a plural form.
Many abstract nouns are uncountable:
Other countable nouns are not abstract:
However, we can use “a” or “an” with these nouns if we turn these nouns into something that can be divided into elements (and therefore counted). Then we use the form “a (something) of (noun)”:
- a glass of water
- a cup of coffee
- a teaspoon of flour
- a pint of milk
- a grain of rice
- a pat/stick of butter
Words that are both countable and uncountable nouns
Some words can be both countable and uncountable nouns. As we are focusing on coffee today, the nouns listed below are also nouns related to food and drink. Enjoy!
- Countable definition: a glass of beer
- Two beers, please.
- Uncountable definition: a beverage made with water and hops
- I don’t like the taste of beer.
- Countable definition: particular types of bread
- They offer many breads at the local bakery, including sourdough and rye.
- Uncountable definition: a food made from grains
- People who are gluten-free don’t eat bread.
- Countable definition: particular types of cheese
- How many cheeses did you buy for the cheese plate?
- Uncountable definition: a dairy food
- Cheese is my favorite food.
- Countable definition: cups of coffee
- I ordered two coffees while I was waiting for my friend to join me.
- Uncountable definition: the drink made from roasted coffee beans
- I drink coffee every morning.
- Countable definition: a particular type of dessert food
- Did you see all of the desserts they offer?
- Uncountable definition: the food eaten at the end of a meal (usually it is sweet)
- Would you like some dessert?
- Countable definition: different types of food
- Are you allergic to any foods?
- Uncountable definition: the things we eat
- Want to get some food?
- Countable definition: particular types of fruit
- She puts a lot of different fruits in her smoothies. They’re delicious!
- What fruits are low in sugar?
- Uncountable definition: the part of a tree or plant that can be eaten and contains seeds
- Sometimes we eat fruit for dessert.
- Countable definition: different types of jams
- What types of jams do you have for toast?
- Uncountable definition: preserved fruit, usually put on toast
- I don’t like strawberry jam.
- Countable definition: different types of juices; glasses of juice
- How many juices did you drink this morning?
- Two orange juices, please.
- Uncountable definition: the liquid from fruits, plants, or other foods
- I don’t like orange juice with pulp.
- Have you ever had pineapple juice?
- Countable definition: different types of meat
- He made three different meats for the BBQ.
- Uncountable definition: animals eaten as food
- Do you eat meat or are you a vegetarian?
- Countable definition: types of salad
- I made three salads for the picnic.
- Uncountable definition: a food made with vegetables (usually lettuce) with a dressing
- Did you eat your salad?
- Countable definition: a particular type of sugar or measurements of sugar (such as a packet of sugar)
- How many (packets of) sugar do you put in your coffee?
- Uncountable definition: the sweet crystals made from plants such as sugar cane or beets
- We don’t eat a lot of sugar during the week, so it’s OK if we eat cake on Sunday.
- Countable definition: different types of tea; cups of tea
- I had three teas today.
- How many teas does that local shop sell?
- Uncountable definition: a drink made from hot water and dried plants
- Do you have any green tea?
- Countable definition: different types of wine
- They have so many wines at that store down the street!
- Uncountable definition: a drink made from fermented fruit (usually grapes)
- Did you know that the Romans made wine throughout Europe?
Coffee Shops in San Diego’s Little Italy
San Diego’s Little Italy is a beautiful neighborhood; in fact, it was voted the best Little Italy in the U.S., and it was also named one of the best U.S. neighborhoods to live in! CISL San Diego students have the option of living in Little Italy and staying in the Vantaggio residence. When living in Little Italy, be sure to check out some of the cool coffee shops in the area!
Bird Rock Roasters
The Little Italy location is the newest store for this popular local coffee shop, which roasts its own award-winning beans and brews delicious pour-over coffees. Sip a cup and watch the planes fly overhead: the shop is located in the flight path for the San Diego airport. And be sure to try the Kenyan Peaberry: it’s won more awards than Meryl Streep has Oscars!
This hidden gem is just behind Piazza Basilone, which is a beautiful square with a fountain located on India and Fir Streets. Grab a cup and then explore the adorable shops that are located on the Fir Cottage strip: each boutique is a home once owned by local Italian fishermen, and each is decorated in beautiful colors and offers unique gifts, home decor, and clothing.
James Coffee Co.
Head to Northern Little Italy for James Coffee Co: the space is part coffee shop, part industrial space, and part home to other independent stores such as barber shops, bike shops, and stores featuring local artists. It’s fun, inventive, and a great place to do some studying and shopping!
Little Italy’s newest coffee shop is the second location for this company, which has a popular shop in North County (and whose business just merged with Bird Rock Roasters)! This urban coffee shop on the corner of Cedar and Columbia offers breakfast and lunch items that use local and organic ingredients. Check it out and welcome them to the neighborhood!
Want to learn more about coffee? Check out CISL’s article about The Best Coffee Shops in SF.
All photos from each coffee shop’s Facebook page.