A count noun is a noun whose possible referents are thought of as separate entities.
It thus has the ability:
- to take a plural form
to occur with distinctive determiners (such as a/an, many), and
- to occur with cardinal numerals.
It does not have the ability, however, to occur with a determiner such as much.
Some nouns permit treatment as either count or mass nouns.
For example, in English, salad may be treated as either a count or mass noun, as evidenced by the acceptability of the following expressions:
- Many salads
- Much salad
The word farmer is an example of a count noun, as evidenced by the acceptability of the following expressions:
- A farmer
- Many farmers
- Two farmers
However, the expression much farmer is not acceptable.