The Concrete Versus the Abstract Noun

Last updated: May 7, 2018 at 3:48 am
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That’s a beautiful flower. Therefore, the flower possesses “beauty.” The flower can be seen and touched, but “beauty” is an idea of the mind. Therefore, “flower” is a concrete noun, but “beauty” is an abstract noun.

As you may have already learned, a noun is a word in the English language that names things, for example: tree, car and house. These are examples of things which we can see, feel, and touch. For example, you can sit in your car, hold the steering wheel and rub the top of it with your hands. If you lose control of your bicycle while riding, you could hit a tree at the side of the road…and a person could break an old house down and build a new one. All words in the English language that names physical things are called concrete nouns.

On the other hand, there are some words in the English language which names things which cannot be seen, felt or touched. These are names of ideas, or concepts, and they include emotions, example happiness, qualities, such as strength or weakness and other types of ideas. Nouns that name ideas or concepts are called abstract nouns.

Remember that abstract nouns do not exist in the real world, they exist only in people’s minds because they were invented by people’s understanding of the world around them. Here are some examples of abstract nouns: happiness, sadness, joy, sorrow, strength, weakness, intelligence, understanding, kindness, love, hatred, power, force.

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