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ESL forum > Ask for help > help meeeee!    

help meeeee!


help meeeee!
Hello dear teachers,
I need some help! my question is: I ´ve seen that watermelon can be countable and uncountable. Until now, I knew that watermelon is uncountable....  how can I explain my students the difference? I mean, to know when it ´s count or uncout? please everyone, help me!

25 Apr 2010      


If you have whole uncut watermelons you can count them.
I bought a watermelon today.
When the melon is cut it is uncountable - you would have a piece of melon or a slice of melon or some melon. 
Would you like a watermelon? (This means one whole watermelon)
I saw some watermelons  growing in the garden. (This means more than one whole melon)
Would you like some watermelon?  (This would mean a piece of cut melon) 

25 Apr 2010     


thank you so much! It ´s clear now. Clap

25 Apr 2010     


Apodo ´s explanation is absolutely clear and precise. I’d just like to add that I usually teach my students that, in language, the situation and the point of view of the speaker is very important. I think this helps them understand what can be felt as an “exception” This is very useful when I’m teaching the difference between simple and continuous tenses; duration is an issue only from the speaker’s point of view, not in a chronological sense.

Regarding countable and uncountable nouns, there are some which can only be uncountable (toast, bread, wine), in general, but those which are mainly countable can be used as uncountable if you want to take the unit as a whole. For example, you only have an orange and you want to share it, you say “would you like some orange?”

Uncountable nouns can also be reclassified as countable in some cases (for example a specific type: French wines)

Then, there are cases of homonyms: toast (bread) U and toast (a toast to the bride) C.

A good dictionary is always very useful in these cases.


I hope it helps

25 Apr 2010