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Is "homework" countable?
I was wondering if "homework" is countable? I remember it is an uncountable noun when I learned English in middle school.
Suppose now I would like to ask my teacher to hand back my graded "homeworks" of last three times. How shall I ask him?
4 Answers 4
"Homework" is uncountable since it is treated as a general meaning not a particular item, like "work", "money" etc.
In your case, use "assignment" instead.
May I have my last three graded assignments back please?
- Both 'work' and 'money' are countified and have well-documented plural forms. 'Homeworks' has not got the same pedigree, though some dictionaries license it with caveats. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 22, 2019 at 18:44
While I've seen the word homeworks used, I've never seen anything legitimate to indicate that it's correct. In any case, you can use the term homework assignments to refer to multiple homework items. That's a fairly common term, at least in American English.
- Thanks! But I don't ask my teacher for assignments, but my homework that I have worked out and handed to my teacher, and the homework is from last three times. How shall I ask him? – Tim May 22, 2011 at 1:39
- 1 @Tim: In American English, assignments is used for what you describe. In British English, homeworks is at least marginally acceptable — we used it at at least one school I went to, although I do remember it feeling awkward/slangy to me at first. – PLL May 22, 2011 at 8:10
- What I’ve seen to indicate it is correct is its frequent use by native speakers – Casey Nov 20, 2021 at 22:37
Traditionally, it is not countable, and most dictionaries list it as such.
However, the Merriam-Webster thesaurus (although not the Merriam-Webster dictionary) does have an entry for homeworks . Moreover, the plural form is used by at least some groups of educated native speakers.
One's best bet is to try to find out if one's audience belongs to a group that tends to use homeworks . If yes, then go ahead and use that word yourself. If not, rephrase as homework assignments or something similar.
Notice that the Merriam-Webster thesaurus has the following entry :
homeworks noun plural of homework Synonyms of homeworks as in schoolwork Synonyms & Near Synonyms for homeworks schoolwork assignments, lessons, reading lectures drills, exercises, practices (also practises ) études, studies
(Interestingly, the Merriam-Webster dictionary entry does not give a plural form for homework .)
Examples of usage by educated native speakers
Such examples are not hard to find at all. For instance, American professors of linguistics, physics, and mathematics, at least, use the word homeworks quite frequently.
All of the examples below are from native speakers, as best as I can tell.
Here are five examples from linguistics professors:
Final grades will be calculated as follows: 30% for homeworks, 20% for the midterm, … Penny Eckert and Ivan A. Sag , Linguistics 1: Introduction to Linguistics (Syllabus), 2011, here . Late assignments are not accepted, but your two lowest-scoring homeworks will be dropped. Adam Jardine , Introduction to Linguistic Theory (Honors) (Syllabus), 2018, here . Homeworks are due at the beginning of class on the days indicated. Emily M. Bender, Linguistics 461: Introduction to Syntax (Syllabus), here . If turned in complete, the homeworks will be graded 8 (well below average), 9 (average), or 10 (well above average); but 0 if not done. Anthony C. Woodbury, Linguistics 306: Introduction to the study of language (Syllabus), here . Homeworks: 25% (lowest score dropped) Dani Byrd and Toby Mintz , Ling 275: Language & Mind (Syllabus), 2006, here .
Here are five examples from physics professors:
Some homeworks are 'secret' assessment exercises: General GRE, Praxis and Major Field Tests Richard Robinett, Penn State Physics Undergraduate Program Better Practices, 2010, p. 12 here . Homeworks are like sports practice Tom Moore , Teaching General Relativity with Tensors, 2006, here . These concepts can be introduced to students through labs, homeworks, and discussion questions. Brianna Billingsley and Cory Christenson, Incorporating Non-Western Contributions Into the Intro Physics Curriculum, 2019, here . With their flexible design, PhET sims are used in many ways—as demos, homeworks, or inexpensive, accessible lab alternatives—and getting started is easy with our database of over 500 activities. Katherine K. Perkins, Teaching Physics with PhET Simulations: Engaging Students and Increasing Learning (Abstract) 2012, p. 58 here . In this talk, we will outline the reforms—including consensus learning goals, “clicker” questions, tutorials, modified homeworks, and more—and present evidence of the effectiveness of these reforms relative to traditional courses. Katherine K. Perkins, Steven Pollock, Stephanie Chasteen, Steve Goldhaber, Rachel Pepper, Michael Dubson, and Paul Beale, Colorado's Transformed Upper-Division E&M and QM courses: Description and Results (Abstract) 2010, p. 119 here .
And here are five examples from mathematics professors:
Homeworks 1-3 David Blecher, here . There will be two midterm exams, weekly homeworks, and a final exam. Scott Sutherland, MAT 141: Honors Calculus 1 (syllabus), 2012, here . MIT 3.016 Homeworks W. Craig Carter, Mathematics for Materials Science and Engineers, MIT 3.016 (syllabus), 2011, (here) . Click on the link 'Problem Sets and Solutions'; you will reach this page , which is where the word homeworks appears (in the page heading). Homeworks (41/42 Track); Homeworks (51 Track) Andrew Schultz, SSEA 2006: Mathematics Track, 2006, here . All homeworks, except the first one, are due on Thursday at 3:30pm Mike Clancy and David Wagner, CS 70, Spring 2005: Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science, 2005, here .
In searching for examples, I also saw examples of similar usage by professors of comparative literature , philosophy, computer science, chemistry, and sociology.
- Even Wiktionary fails to concede the plural form as a possibility, but this is doubtless an ongoing countification (and 10 years is a substantial time for the evolution to progress). – Edwin Ashworth Nov 20, 2021 at 16:42
- American professors of physics and mathematics, at least, use the word homeworks... I wonder if I should take seriously pronouncements on quantum physics by English professors... – Greybeard Nov 20, 2021 at 18:18
- @EdwinAshworth I just looked at Wiktionary , and it says 'usually uncountable, plural homeworks '. The edit that added that note was on 5 October 2015. So indeed, things change in ten years! – linguisticturn Nov 21, 2021 at 17:18
- Whoops, I had SimpleWiktionary , which I didn't know existed. Obviously homeworks is harder. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 21, 2021 at 17:53
- @Greybeard Apologies if your comment was meant as a joke, but if it wasn't (and for the benefit of those who don't take it as a joke), the answer is, no you shouldn't. And indeed, conversely, if physics or math professors were to start making 'pronouncements' about whether a particular word is acceptable English, you shouldn't take that seriously, either. But that's not what's going on in my answer. My answer simply points out that there is a U.S.-wide, loosely connected group of educated native speakers who rather frequently and unselfconsciously use homeworks in day-to-day life. – linguisticturn Nov 21, 2021 at 18:38
Ask for "items" or "pieces" of homework.
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged nouns uncountable-nouns countable-nouns or ask your own question .
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Did “homework ”have countable form?
Hi Homework is an uncountable noun, therefore it should be modified by much or a lot of, not many. Because it is an uncountable noun and is not used in the plural as it is always singular.
I don’t have much homework today The teacher gave us a lot of homework. Tim has four pieces of homework to complete for today. Do you have any homework?
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Countable and Uncountable Nouns: Rules and Examples
Countable nouns definition
Countable nouns refer to items that can be counted, even if the number might be extraordinarily high (like counting all the people in the world, for example). Countable nouns can be used with articles such as a/an and the or quantifiers such as a few and many . Look at the sentence below and pay particular attention to the countable noun:
Here is a cat .
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Cat is singular and countable.
Here are a few cats .
Here are some cats .
Other examples of countable nouns include house, idea, hand, car, flower, and paper .
Uncountable nouns, or mass nouns , are nouns that come in a state or quantity that is impossible to count; liquids are uncountable, as are things that act like liquids (sand, air). Abstract ideas like creativity or courage are also uncountable. Uncountable nouns are always considered to be singular, and can stand alone or be used with some, any, a little, and much. See the examples below for reference:
An I.Q. test measures intelligence .
Intelligence is an uncountable noun.
Students don’t seem to have many homework these days.
Because homework is an uncountable noun, it should be modified by much or a lot of, not many .
Students don’t seem to have much homework these days.
A lot of equipment is required to play hockey safely.
Since uncountable nouns are singular, they also require singular verbs. If you’re ever trying to decide whether to write the information is or the information are , remember that information is an uncountable noun and therefore needs is .
Good information are necessary for making good decisions.
Good information is necessary for making good decisions.
Additional examples of uncountable nouns include water, soil, love, literature, and dust.
Both countable and uncountable nouns
Some nouns can be both countable and uncountable, depending on the context of the sentence. Examples of these versatile nouns include light, hair, room, gear, art, and science . See the examples below:
Did you have a good time at the party?
Here, time is countable (a time).
I don’t think I have time to do my hair before I leave.
In this sentence, time is uncountable.
There is some juice on the table.
There are some juices on the table.
In the first sentence, juice refers to the liquid beverage; thus, it is uncountable. In the second sentence, juice refers to the different varieties of juice (e.g., apple, grape, pineapple, etc.), and therefore, is considered a countable noun.
- English (US)
Is the word ( homework) countable or uncountable ?? See a translation
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Usually uncountable. Most people would not say "I have two homeworks". Instead, you would say "I have two homework assignments". You also would not say "I have many homeworks". Instead, you would say "I have a lot of homework".
@nada_m1993 some homework. simply "i have homework." is also good..
Uncountable. You CAN say I have a lot of homework tonight. You would NOT say "I have three homework to do tonight." You CAN say "I have three assignments to do for homework tonight."
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Is homework uncountable
Using the present continuous this way makes the speaker’s annoyance irritation, shock, etc clear. But words like prep, and matron lingered on into the day-systems of the s. Maggie always has some exciting bits of news when she comes to see us. To count individual parts of homework, you must use words like assignment. I consider ”homeworks” to be substandard English, but it’s certainly not unknown. In our first year we got two preps a night e. Answered 11w ago Homework is a collective, uncountable noun and is never used as a plural.
Determiners the, my, some, this Countable phrases for uncountable nouns We can sometimes use countable noun phrases to talk about an individual example of the thing an uncountable noun refers to. Just like all non-count nouns, it is an umbrella concept, without individual parts All content posted by our users is a contribution to the public domain , this does not include imported usenet posts. However, work can also refer to a singular piece of creation art, literature, plays, etc.
I am old enough to remember when in Britain it wasn’t called homework, it was called prep preparation. Maybe the speaker thinks the amount of homework is always much too much, for example. For example, we cannot count “milk”. Try our newsletter Sign up for our newsletter and get our top new questions delivered to your inbox see an example.
For example, you can say that I have seven assignments, but I cannot say that I have seven homeworks. In American English, assignments is used for what you describe. I completed twelve tasks. It is a term meant to encapsulate all of your take-home lessons, regardless of subject. But I don’t ask my teacher for assignments, but my homework that I have worked out and handed to my teacher, and the homework is from last three times.
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Definition of homework noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary
- acquire/get/lack experience/training/(an) education
- receive/provide somebody with training
- develop/design/plan a curriculum/course/program/syllabus
- give/go to/attend a class/lesson/lecture/seminar
- hold/run/conduct a class/seminar/workshop
- moderate/lead/facilitate a discussion
- sign up for/take a course/classes/lessons
- go to/start preschool/kindergarten/nursery school
- be in the first, second, etc. grade (at school)
- study/take/drop history/chemistry/German, etc.
- finish/drop out of/quit school
- graduate from high school/college
- be the victim/target of bullying/teasing
- skip/cut/ ( informal ) ditch class/school
- cheat on an exam/a test
- get/be given a detention (for doing something)
- be expelled from/be suspended from school
- do your homework/a project on something
- work on/write/do/submit an essay/a dissertation/a thesis/an assignment/a paper
- finish/complete your dissertation/thesis/studies
- hand in/turn in your homework/essay/assignment/paper
- study/prepare/review/ ( informal ) cram for a test/an exam
- take/ ( formal ) sit for a test/an exam
- grade homework/a test
- do well on/ ( informal ) ace a test/an exam
- pass/fail/ ( informal ) flunk a test/an exam/a class/a course/a subject
- apply to/get into/go to/start college
- leave/graduate from college (with a degree in computer science)/law school
- study for/work towards a law degree/a degree in physics
- major/minor in biology/philosophy
- earn/receive/be awarded/get/have/hold a master's degree/a bachelor's degree/a Ph.D. in economics
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"Homework" is uncountable since it is treated as a general meaning not a particular item, like "work", "money" etc.
Homework is an uncountable noun, therefore it should be modified by much or a lot of, not many. Because it is an uncountable noun and is not
Homework is an uncountable noun and is not used in the plural. You say: The teacher gave us a lot of homework. ✗Don't say:
Because homework is an uncountable noun, it should be modified by much or a lot of, not many. Students don't seem to have much homework these
Usually uncountable. Most people would not say "I have two homeworks". Instead, you would say "I have two homework assignments". You also would
Uncountable nouns can't be made plural. Why? Because we can't count them! We can say homework, but we wouldn't say homeworks. (Psst! Treat uncountable nouns
"Homework" is uncountable since it is treated as a general meaning not a particular item, like "work", "money" etc.-In the singular form they
To count individual parts of homework, you must use words like assignment. I consider ”homeworks” to be substandard English, but it's certainly
Definition of homework noun in Oxford Advanced American Dictionary. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and
Be Careful! Both homework and housework are uncountable nouns. Don't talk about `a homework' or `houseworks