Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
Do you have enough EXPERIENCE (n) to talk about the EXPERIENCES (n) that you have EXPERIENCED (v)?
Many English learners have problems with countable and uncountable nouns.
Sometimes the noun 'experience' is countable and sometimes it's uncountable.
The countable noun experience can use the article "an" (an = one) and "the" (referring to a one or more specific experiences).
The uncountable noun experience does not use the article "an" and does not use the article "the".

The word experience is also a verb, but the information below just applies to the nouns.

Here is a short explanation that may help you decide when to use the countable or the uncountable form of the noun.



Experience (noun - countable)

* something that you have done or that has happened to you
     - I had an unpleasant experience at the dentist's office.

* something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through
     - Fighting in the war was an experience that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
     - A tour of Australia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
     - I did meet him once and it was an experience I shall never forget.

* a particular event, action, incident that affects one or more persons.
     - I enjoyed hearing about his experiences in Africa.
     - It was interesting hearing about his experiences as a policeman.
     - I know from past experience that you can’t judge someone by their appearance.
     - I had a really strange experience last week.

Experience (noun - uncountable/non-countable)

* the process of getting knowledge or skill or becoming familiar with something from doing, seeing, or feeling things.
* acquired knowledge from what you have done, or seen, or learnt.
* knowledge and skill that is gained through time spent doing a job or activity
* the length of time that you have spent doing something such as a particular job
* the process of doing and seeing things and of having things happen to you
* the knowledge and understanding that you get from life and from being in a lot of different situations

- You don’t need any experience to work here.
- We would like to find someone with more experience.
- She has business and teaching experience
- Some applicants have limited experience
- Some applicants have considerable/extensive experience
- The best way to learn is by experience.
- Do you have any experience working with kids? (Did you ever work with them?)
- The best way to learn is by experience. (… by doing things).
- I know from experience that Tony never keeps his promises. (Knowledge)
- I don’t think she has the experience for this job. (… Doesn’t have enough knowledge or skill)
- In my experience, people generally smile back if you smile at them. (Seeing/observing)
- The experience of pain (what pain feels like) varies from one person to another.
- Do you have any experience of working internationally? (Skill gained by doing something).
- The new job will provide you with invaluable experience.
- We need someone who has experience in marketing and sales.
- He has experience in repairing computers. (… gained by taking courses and/or doing work)


"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes" [Oscar Wilde]
“Experience is the best teacher”

Jun 1, 2019 1:30 PM
Comments · 7
Hello Richard! That's an interesting and useful post! I am glad when I see experienced people like you sharing their experiences about experience in a relay experienced way!:)
June 2, 2019
Thanks a lot for this thorough explanation! In German it’s similar.
June 1, 2019
Thank you for the explanation. I have been struggling with it. We can distinguish when we can see. I'll remember what you said.
June 2, 2019


Thank you for your informative comments.

You do not need to apologize for comparing the English word experience to the Hebrew word's usage and connotations.
In fact, your comments are helpful to anyone learning Hebrew, and that's precisely the purpose and benefit of the Discussion board.

June 1, 2019


In Hebrew there are two words describing experience - as an experience and as a deep impression 

For Hebrew learners:

ניסיון - experience -  in this case singular 

חויה - deep impression - both singular and plural 

Thanks, Richard and my apologies for using your thread for conveying non English related information)))

June 1, 2019
Show More
Richard-Business Eng
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language