Concrete nouns vs. abstract nouns
Nouns are naming words we use to refer to people, things, and experiences, and concrete nouns are nouns that represent things that we can experience with at least one of our five senses. On the other hand, abstract nouns, represent things that we cannot feel with our senses.
Concrete nouns are nouns that represent things that we can experience with any of our five senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch). Nouns such as dog, computer, pen, job etc., are all concrete nouns.
Examples of concrete nouns
Abstract nouns represent things, feelings or emotions that we cannot represent with our five senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch), so to speak. For example, such abstract nouns are love, hate, fare, consciousness, feelings etc.
Examples of abstract nouns
Concrete nouns with context and analysis
- What’s your favourite subject1 to study Maria?
- I really don’t like the sciences2 to be honest.
- So, do you not like humanities3 then?
- Not really, I prefer the sciences because the information4 is very pure, and very truthful.
- Do you fancy yourself5 working in a scientific field one day then?
- To be honest, no. I enjoy studying the sciences, but I would prefer to work with computers. I think computing6 is far more interesting.
- Would you like to work with code?
- Yes, I enjoy coding7. Coding languages like HTML and Java script are so cool and interesting.
- Glad to hear that!
- I’ll catch you later.
- Subject: is a concrete noun. It’s something that we can touch or hear.
- Sciences: this is the general, concrete noun. A scientist is a proper noun because it’s a person.
- Humanities: is the concrete noun. Remember, the singular form is humanity, so the -y changes to -ies in the plural form. For example, cry-cries, felony-felonies etc.
- Information: is a concrete noun. Also, take note of the noun suffix -tion. Other examples are, collection, notion, appreciation, notation etc.
- Fancy oneself: this is a common expression in English. You can say, fancy oneself, yourself, himself etc. It means, what you would like to be or do.
- Computing: a concrete noun. Nouns can also be gerunds (verb + ing) used as objects or subjects of a sentence. I.e., swimming is fun, I love your painting, running isn’t easy.
- Enjoy coding: another example of a noun ending in –ing and being used as an object of the sentence.
Abstract nouns with context and analysis
- What are you reading, Mike?
- I’m reading a fiction novel about a girl’s dramatic experiences back in eighteenth-century France.
- What sort of dramatic experiences does she have then?
- Well, she falls in love1 with a boy and then goes to a boarding school where she’s in constant fear2 because of all the bullying that goes on. She also misses her boyfriend, which fills her up with emptiness3.
- Does she suffer a lot of anger and hate?
- Yes, but she also receives a lot of compassion from her boyfriend and his family, so luckily, she manages to overcome all the stress and misery4 of living in a boarding school.
- This book sounds like a good read.
- It certainly is5.
- Love: is a very common abstract noun.
- Fear: another example of an abstract noun not represented by our five senses.
- Emptiness: a very clear example of an abstract noun.
- Misery: we can feel misery, but it’s abstract.
- It certainly is: this is a form of ellipsis, which is short for; the book certainly is a good read. Ellipsis is very common in English, and we use it to make sentences shorter because we already assume the remainder of the sentence.
- Articles (a/an, the, zero article)
- Pronouns: subject, object and possessive
- Question tags
- English conditionals
- Interrogatives in English
- Phrasal verbs
- Prefixes and suffixes
- Reported and direct speech
- Numbers: cardinal, ordinal, and Roman numbers
- The verb: “get”
- ‘Get’ vs. ‘go’ and ‘got’ vs. ‘gotten’
- Copular verbs
- Cleft sentences
- Subjunctive in English
- Vulgar and taboo in English
- Split infinitive
- Emphasis with inversion
- Gerunds in English
- To + infinitive
- Bare infinitive
- British and American spelling