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Abstract Noun

What is an abstract noun.

  • consideration, parenthood, belief, anger

Table of Contents

More Examples of Abstract Nouns

Find the abstract noun test, abstract nouns vs concrete nouns, list of abstract nouns.

Why Abstract Nouns Are Important

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abstract noun examples

Abstract or Concrete? It Could Be Ambiguous.

  • anger, anxiety, beauty, beliefs, bravery, brilliance, chaos, charity, childhood, comfort, communication, compassion, courage, culture, curiosity, deceit, dedication, democracy, determination, energy, failure, faith, fear, freedom, friendship, generosity, gossip, happiness, hate, honesty, hope, imagination, information, integrity, intelligence, joy, justice, kindness, knowledge, liberty, life, love, loyalty, luxury, misery, motivation, opportunity, pain, patience, peace, perseverance, pleasure, pride, relaxation, sacrifice, satisfaction, skill, strength, success, sympathy, talent, thought, trust, truth, warmth, wisdom
  • ...and my bicycle never leaned against the garage as it does today, all the dark blue speed drained out of it. (from "On Turning Ten" by American Poet Laureate Billy Collins
  • If writing a poem, consider expressing abstract ideas using concrete nouns.

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  • Knowledge Base
  • Nouns and pronouns
  • Abstract Noun | Definition, Examples & Worksheet

Abstract Noun | Definition, Examples & Worksheet

Published on February 25, 2023 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on April 18, 2023.

An abstract noun is a noun that refers to something non-physical—something conceptual that you can’t perceive directly with your senses. Examples include “sadness,” “analysis,” “government,” and “adulthood.”

Abstract nouns are contrasted with concrete nouns , which are words like “cat,” “desk,” or “Andrew” that refer to physical objects and entities.

The passage of time isn’t easy to perceive.

Table of contents

Abstract nouns vs. concrete nouns, abstract noun examples, formation of abstract nouns, worksheet: concrete vs. abstract nouns, other interesting language articles, frequently asked questions.

Abstract nouns differ from concrete nouns in terms of what they describe:

  • Abstract nouns refer to anything that isn’t directly observable. That could mean personal qualities, measurements of time, cultural movements, or concepts.
  • Concrete nouns refer to what can be perceived with the senses: things, people, animals, and places.

The same word could often be interpreted as abstract or concrete depending on your perspective and on the context in which it is used. The distinction is often very subjective.

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Abstract nouns represent a wide variety of things—anything that isn’t represented by a concrete noun, in fact. The table below explores a few different categories of things that abstract nouns can refer to.

A lot (though not all) of the examples given in the previous section followed a few specific patterns in terms of the suffixes they ended with (e.g., “-ness,” “-ism”).

This is because abstract nouns are formed from adjectives , verbs , and other nouns in a number of standard ways. Common ways of forming abstract nouns are shown in the table below.

Want to test your understanding of the difference between concrete and abstract nouns? Try the worksheet below. Just decide whether each highlighted noun is concrete or abstract .

  • Practice questions
  • Answers and explanations
  • The dog seemed to enjoy its dinner .
  • The price of adhering to one’s principles can be high.
  • The name of my cat is Whiskers .
  • The foundations of the house have begun to sink due to a lack of maintenance .
  • My neighbor John has some questionable ideas about politics .
  • Both “dog” and “dinner” are concrete nouns , since they represent physical entities in the world.
  • “Price” and “ principles ” are both abstract nouns because you can’t touch or see a principle or a price (although you might see something representing a price, so a noun like “price tag” would be considered concrete).
  • The concept of a name is abstract. “Cat” is a concrete noun because a cat is a physical being. “Whiskers” is concrete whether you take it to mean the speaker’s cat or simply the word “Whiskers” in its use as a name—both of these can be perceived with the senses.
  • “Foundations” and “house” both represent specific physical things and are therefore concrete nouns. “Lack” and “maintenance” are both more conceptual and are therefore abstract.
  • Both the common noun “neighbor” and the proper noun “John” (here used as an appositive ) are concrete nouns, since they refer to people. “Ideas” and “politics” are both abstract because they refer to concepts rather than physical things.

If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, common mistakes, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

Nouns & pronouns

  • Common nouns
  • Proper nouns
  • Collective nouns
  • Personal pronouns
  • Uncountable and countable nouns
  • Verb tenses
  • Phrasal verbs
  • Sentence structure
  • Active vs passive voice
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Interjections
  • Determiners
  • Prepositions

An abstract noun is a noun describing something that can’t be directly perceived with the senses .

Abstract nouns may refer to general or philosophical concepts (e.g., “art,” “democracy,” “evidence”), emotions and personal qualities (e.g., “happiness,” “impatience”), time measurements (e.g., “hours,” “January”), or states of being (e.g., “solidity,” “instability”).

Abstract nouns are the opposite of concrete nouns , which refer to physical things that can be perceived with the senses: objects, substances, places, people and animals, and so on. For example, “window,” “Dorian,” and “sand.”

A concrete noun is a noun describing a physical entity that can be perceived with the senses . Concrete nouns may refer to things (e.g., “phone,” “hat”), places (e.g., “France,” “the post office”), or people and animals (e.g., “dog,” “doctor,” “Jamal”).

Concrete nouns are contrasted with abstract nouns , which refer to things that can’t be directly perceived—ideas, theories, concepts, and so on. Examples include “happiness,” “condemnation,” “ethics,” and “time.”

There are many ways to categorize nouns into various types, and the same noun can fall into multiple categories or even change types depending on context.

Some of the main types of nouns are:

  • Common and proper nouns
  • Countable and uncountable nouns
  • Concrete and abstract nouns
  • Possessive nouns
  • Attributive nouns
  • Appositive nouns
  • Generic nouns

Sources in this article

We strongly encourage students to use sources in their work. You can cite our article (APA Style) or take a deep dive into the articles below.

Caulfield, J. (2023, April 18). Abstract Noun | Definition, Examples & Worksheet. Scribbr. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/nouns-and-pronouns/abstract-noun/
Aarts, B. (2011). Oxford modern English grammar . Oxford University Press.
Butterfield, J. (Ed.). (2015). Fowler’s dictionary of modern English usage (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
Garner, B. A. (2016). Garner’s modern English usage (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

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Meet the Abstract Noun

An explanation of the intangible noun

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

In English grammar , an abstract noun is a  noun or noun phrase  that names an idea, event, quality, or concept—for example, courage, freedom, progress, love, patience, excellence, and friendship. An abstract noun names something that can't be physically touched. Contrast that with a  concrete noun .

According to "A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language," abstract nouns are "typically non-observable and nonmeasurable.” But, as James Hurford explains, the distinction between abstract nouns and other common nouns "is relatively unimportant, as far as grammar is concerned." An example of abstract nouns used in a sentence is, " Silence can be   a source of great strength ." Here, "silence" and "strength" are abstract nouns because they name an idea and quality, respectively.

Examples and Observations

In the following examples, the abstract noun is listed in italics type.

" Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." – Robert Frost

"Men say they love independence in a woman, but they don't waste a second demolishing it brick by brick."

– Candice Bergen, quoted by Catherine Breslin in "The Mistress Condition." Dutton, 1976

" Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties ." – Erich Fromm

"More than any other time in history , mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness . The other, to total extinction . Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." – Woody Allen, "My Speech to the Graduates." The New York Times, 1979

"When love is gone, there's always justice . And when justice is gone, there's always force . And when force is gone, there's always Mom. Hi, Mom!" – Laurie Anderson, "O Superman." 1981

" Fear is the main source of superstition , and one of the main sources of cruelty . To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom ."

– Bertrand Russell, "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish." "Unpopular Essays." Simon & Schuster Inc., 1950

"Her face, which was long and dark chocolate brown, had a thin sheet of sadness over it, as light but as permanent as the viewing gauze on a coffin." – Maya Angelou, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Random House, 1969

The Nature of Abstract Nouns

"Abstract and concrete are usually defined together or in terms of each other. The abstract is that which exists only in our minds, that which we cannot know through our senses. It includes qualities, relationships, conditions, ideas, theories, states of being, fields of inquiry and the like. We cannot know a quality such as consistency directly through our senses; we can only see or hear about people acting in ways that we come to label consistent."

– William Vande Kopple, "Clear and Coherent Prose." Scott Foresman & Co., 1989

Countable and Uncountable Abstract Nouns

"Although abstract nouns tend to be uncountable (courage, happiness, news, tennis, training), many are countable (an hour, a joke, a quantity). Others can be both, often with shifts of meaning from general to particular (great kindness/many kindnesses)."

– Tom McArthur, "Abstract and Concrete." "The Oxford Companion to the English Language." Oxford University Press, 1992

Inflection of Abstract Nouns

"[M]any abstract nouns are generally not inflected for number (lucks, nauseas) or they do not occur in the possessive (the commitment's time)."

– M. Lynne Murphy and Anu Koskela, "Key Terms in Semantics." Continuum, 2010

The Grammatical Unimportance of Abstract Nouns

"[R]ecognizing abstract nouns is relatively unimportant, as far as grammar is concerned. This is because there are few, if any, particular grammatical properties that affect just the set of abstract nouns. ... One suspects that the reason for the recurrent mention of abstract nouns is the clash between their (abstract) meanings and the traditional definition of a noun as the 'name of a person, place or thing.' The existence of obvious nouns such as liberty, action, sin and time is a sore embarrassment to such a definition, and the pragmatic response has been to apply a distinctive label to the problematic words."

– James R. Hurford, "Grammar: A Student's Guide." Cambridge University Press, 1994

The Lighter Side of Abstract Nouns

" 'It represents Discipline,' said Mr. Etherege. ... 'And to the uninstructed mind, Uniformity.' His abstract nouns were audibly furnished with capital letters . 'But the latter notion is fallacious.'

" 'No doubt,' said Fen. He perceived that this incipient homily required punctuation rather than argument .

" 'Fallacious,' Mr. Etherege proceeded, 'because the attempt to produce Uniformity inevitably accentuates Eccentricity. It makes Eccentricity, as it were, safe.' "

– Bruce Montgomery [aka Edmund Crispin], "Love Lies Bleeding." Vintage, 1948

  • Understanding the Types of Nouns in English Grammar
  • What Are Common Nouns?
  • Types of Nouns
  • Learn the Seven Types of English Nouns
  • What Is a Mass Noun?
  • What Is an Uncountable Noun?
  • 100 Key Terms Used in the Study of Grammar
  • What Are Nouns and How Are They Used?
  • Definition and Examples of Count Nouns
  • Articles in Grammar: From "A" to "The" With "An" and "Some" Between
  • Countable and Uncountable Nouns
  • Overview of Noncount Nouns in English Grammar
  • Light Verbs in English Grammar
  • Definition and Examples of Referents in English Grammar
  • Specificity in Writing
  • Inflection Definition and Examples in English Grammar

abstract noun of phrases

Understanding an Abstract Noun (Definition, Examples, Word List)

abstract noun

What is an abstract noun? How is it different from a common noun ? What are words that represent an abstract noun? These are all great questions that you probably have . Abstract nouns can get confusing when comparing them to regular common nouns or proper nouns. This comprehensive guide will break down the abstract noun, its use , and the functions that grammatically govern it.

Abstract noun

What is an abstract noun? 

An abstract noun is a type of noun that represents intangible things. Things you can’t perceive with the five primary senses in the human body (taste, touch, smell, etc.).

Abstract noun definition 

As the name suggests, an abstract noun is a noun type. It refers to an intangible idea (one that you cannot fathom using your five senses). Such intangible concepts could include emotions, qualities, ideas, etc.

All nouns that do not have a tangible or physical object to refer to fall under the bracket of abstract nouns . Abstract nouns are widely used in English proverbs. 

Some common examples include health, wealth, parenthood, anger, courage, and more. 

Abstract noun compared to other nouns 

Nouns are an essential part of speech. They are instrumental in naming places, people, objects, animals, and intangible ideas.

You may have noticed that whenever you write a sentence , you are using at least one noun in it.

Nouns can get used differently in different sentence formations. Their functions can vary. Here are the main types of nouns you could use in a complete sentence:

Proper Nouns

Proper nouns are naming agents for places, people, or things. They usually start with a capital letter. 

For example:

  • My name is Lisa. (Lisa is the proper noun )
  • John lives in Finland. (Finland is the proper noun)
  • Jazz is a famous book. (Jazz is the proper noun)

Common Nouns 

Nouns that refer to generic things are referred to as common nouns . 

  • I bought a new book yesterday. (Book is the common noun)
  • There is a pigeon on the windowsill. (Pigeon is the common noun)
  • Rob bought a blue car. (Car is the common noun)

Countable Nouns 

Nouns that can be measured or counted are called countable nouns . 

  • I take two spoons of sugar in my tea. (“Two” is the countable noun )
  • She bought a dozen bananas at the market. (“A dozen” is the countable noun) 

Uncountable Nouns 

Nouns that cannot be measured or counted are called uncountable nouns. 

  • I have plenty of homework. (Plenty is the uncountable noun)
  • Is that enough milk in your coffee? (Enough is the uncountable noun)

Collective Nouns 

Collective nouns depict a group of objects, people, animals, and more. 

  • A flock of sheep 
  • A pile of books 
  • A school of fish 
  • A bevy of women 

Concrete Nouns 

Also referred to as material nouns, concrete nouns refer to things that have a physical presence and can be perceived using the five senses. 

Abstract Nouns 

Any noun that is intangible or which cannot be perceived using the five senses is an abstract noun . 

  • Bravery is a virtue. (Bravery is the abstract noun)
  • My childhood was merry and fun . (Childhood is the abstract noun)

Abstract vs. concrete noun

Abstract nouns in comparison to concrete nouns 

Concrete noun, as the name suggests, includes all those objects which have a physical presence and are tangible. They can be perceived with the help of our five senses. These include nouns such as book, pen, cup, table silk, door, car, and so on. 

  • I travel to school by bus . (School and bus are both concrete nouns )
  • Sally opened the door. (Door is the concrete noun) 

Abstract nouns include everything that is intangible and cannot be perceived by the five senses. These include emotions, feelings, ideas, and more. 

  • Honesty is the best policy. (Honesty is the abstract noun)
  • Freedom is my birthright. (Freedom is the abstract noun) 

Abstract noun word list

Abstract noun word list 

Here are some examples of abstract nouns based on their kind. 

  • Feelings – sympathy, fear, anxiety, stress, pleasure
  • State – Chaos, peace, misery, freedom
  • Emotions – anger, joy, sorrow, hate 
  • Qualities – determination, courage, honesty, generosity, patience 
  • Concepts – democracy, charity, deceit, opportunity, comfort 
  • Moments – career, death, marriage, childhood, birth 

Abstract noun word list

More examples of commonly used abstract nouns

  • Bravery 
  • Brilliance 
  • Childhood 
  • Comfort 
  • Compassion 
  • Communication 
  • Curiosity 
  • Culture 
  • Dedication 
  • Energy 
  • Faith 
  • Friendship 
  • Gossip 
  • Information 
  • Imagination 
  • Intelligence 
  • Integrity 
  • Justice 
  • Knowledge 
  • Kindness 
  • Liberty 
  • Loyalty 
  • Luxury 
  • Motivation 
  • Perseverance 
  • Relaxation 
  • Skill 
  • Satisfaction 
  • Strength 
  • Success 
  • Thought 
  • Talent 
  • Truth 
  • Trust 
  • Wisdom 
  • Warmth 

Sentence examples with abstract nouns 

The following are three sentence examples with abstract nouns – 

  • This cafe has a pleasant ambiance. (Ambiance is the abstract noun)
  • Pride is a deadly sin. (Pride is the abstract noun)
  • My friendship with Peter is of seven years . (Friendship is the abstract noun) 

Conversion of Verbs and Adjectives into Abstract Nouns 

Convert verbs and adjectives into abstract nouns by adding a suffix . The reverse is also a possibility. 

  • Perceive – Perception 
  • Inform – Information 
  • Determine – Determination 
  • Dark – Darkness 
  • Silent – Silence

Why are abstract nouns important? 

Abstract nouns are tricky. Use concrete nouns to make them understandable in sentences. Abstract nouns are not of much use from a business point of view.

However, they are an integral part of any English grammar course. Conversions between abstract nouns and verbs or adjectives are essential while learning complete sentence construction.

Yes, warmth is an abstract noun. 

The abstract form of ability (abstract noun) is able.

Five examples of abstract nouns include honesty, glory, patience, determination, and truth.

Inside this article

abstract noun of phrases

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abstract noun of phrases

About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

Core lessons

  • Abstract Noun
  • Accusative Case
  • Active Sentence
  • Alliteration
  • Adjective Clause
  • Adjective Phrase
  • Adverbial Clause
  • Appositive Phrase
  • Body Paragraph
  • Compound Adjective
  • Complex Sentence
  • Compound Words
  • Compound Predicate
  • Common Noun
  • Comparative Adjective
  • Comparative and Superlative
  • Compound Noun
  • Compound Subject
  • Compound Sentence
  • Copular Verb
  • Collective Noun
  • Colloquialism
  • Conciseness
  • Conditional
  • Concrete Noun
  • Conjunction
  • Conjugation
  • Conditional Sentence
  • Comma Splice
  • Correlative Conjunction
  • Coordinating Conjunction
  • Coordinate Adjective
  • Cumulative Adjective
  • Dative Case
  • Declarative Statement
  • Direct Object Pronoun
  • Direct Object
  • Dangling Modifier
  • Demonstrative Pronoun
  • Demonstrative Adjective
  • Direct Characterization
  • Definite Article
  • Doublespeak
  • Equivocation Fallacy
  • Future Perfect Progressive
  • Future Simple
  • Future Perfect Continuous
  • Future Perfect
  • First Conditional
  • Gerund Phrase
  • Genitive Case
  • Helping Verb
  • Irregular Adjective
  • Irregular Verb
  • Imperative Sentence
  • Indefinite Article
  • Intransitive Verb
  • Introductory Phrase
  • Indefinite Pronoun
  • Indirect Characterization
  • Interrogative Sentence
  • Intensive Pronoun
  • Inanimate Object
  • Indefinite Tense
  • Infinitive Phrase
  • Interjection
  • Intensifier
  • Indicative Mood
  • Juxtaposition
  • Linking Verb
  • Misplaced Modifier
  • Nominative Case
  • Noun Adjective
  • Object Pronoun
  • Object Complement
  • Order of Adjectives
  • Parallelism
  • Prepositional Phrase
  • Past Simple Tense
  • Past Continuous Tense
  • Past Perfect Tense
  • Past Progressive Tense
  • Present Simple Tense
  • Present Perfect Tense
  • Personal Pronoun
  • Personification
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Parallel Structure
  • Phrasal Verb
  • Predicate Adjective
  • Predicate Nominative
  • Phonetic Language
  • Plural Noun
  • Punctuation
  • Punctuation Marks
  • Preposition
  • Preposition of Place
  • Parts of Speech
  • Possessive Adjective
  • Possessive Determiner
  • Possessive Case
  • Possessive Noun
  • Proper Adjective
  • Proper Noun
  • Present Participle
  • Quotation Marks
  • Relative Pronoun
  • Reflexive Pronoun
  • Reciprocal Pronoun
  • Subordinating Conjunction
  • Simple Future Tense
  • Stative Verb
  • Subjunctive
  • Subject Complement
  • Subject of a Sentence
  • Sentence Variety
  • Second Conditional
  • Superlative Adjective
  • Slash Symbol
  • Topic Sentence
  • Types of Nouns
  • Types of Sentences
  • Uncountable Noun
  • Vowels and Consonants

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abstract noun of phrases

Abstract Nouns: What Are Abstract Nouns? Definition and Examples

abstract noun of phrases

Would you like to learn about abstract nouns? Then you're in the right place. This article will cover everything you need to know about them and how to use them in your writing.

  • Abstract nouns refer to non-physical things you can't perceive with your senses.

This guide is part of our free online Grammar Book .

What Are Abstract Nouns?

Before we get started, let's have a quick grammar review: what are nouns? Nouns are naming words, clauses, or phrases that you can use to refer to a person, place, or thing.

  • All nouns can be singular or plural; proper or common; countable or non-countable, and so on.
  • Abstract nouns are the opposite of concrete nouns. They refer to non-physical things that cannot be sensed. 

Here are some categories of this type of noun:

  • emotions/feelings love, fear, sympathy
  • characteristics tenderness, bravery, beauty
  • concepts socialism, knowledge, freedom
  • states beginning, life, peace
  • measurements of time hour, tomorrow, Monday
  • movements Christianity, feminism, Black Lives Matter

Following are some examples of abstract nouns ( underlined ) in a sentence.

It isn't an easy transition moving to another country. I need you to do me a huge favor , please. Do you believe our soul lives on after we die? We'll need to set our differences aside in order to work together.  Our friendship means a lot to me.

One thing to note about these words is that they often follow a particular pattern, which makes them easier to recognize and tell apart from concrete nouns.

That pattern is:

root word + suffix

The root word can be a verb, adjective, or other noun, and the suffix can be one of many.

Below are some examples.

-ship friendship relationship worship  flagship courtship -ence difference reference violence existence influence -or / -er favor supervisor actor trainer teacher -tion / -sion transition communication question excursion confusion -ism racism sexism autism feminism baptism

Not all abstract nouns are formed this way, but when you see a noun that looks like this, you can be almost certain it's an abstract noun.

Nouns That Are Both Abstract and Concrete

It's important to note that despite the fact all nouns are either abstract or concrete, there are instances where some nouns can actually alternate between the two types. This will depend on the context.

Here are some examples:

The music is really loud. Music brings my soul to life. The Earth's atmosphere is retained by gravity. I don't want to have lunch there; the atmosphere sucks.  His latest painting is a work of art. It was really hard work getting this piano in here.

Concluding Thoughts

That brings us to the conclusion of this article on abstract nouns. I hope you found it helpful.

Let's summarize what we've learned:

  • Nouns are naming words to refer to a person, place, animal, thing, idea, or concept.
  • Abstract nouns are for non-physical things that you cannot perceive.
  • Some nouns can be both abstract and concrete.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like our Grammar Book . It's a free online database full of grammar articles just like this one. Check it out!

Learn More:

  • Concrete Nouns: What Are Concrete Nouns? Definition and Examples
  • Proper Nouns: What Are Proper Nouns? Definition and Examples
  • Common Nouns: What Are Common Nouns? Definition and Examples
  • Collective Nouns: What Are Collective Nouns? Definition and Examples
  • Compound Nouns: What Are Compound Nouns? Definition and Examples
  • Possessive Nouns: What Are Possessive Nouns? Definition and Examples
  • Nouns: What Are Nouns? (Types and Examples)
  • Mass Nouns: What is a Mass Noun?
  • Abbreviations: What Are Abbreviations? Definition and Examples
  • Simple Sentence: What Is a Simple Sentence? Definition and Examples
  • Sentence Fragments: What Are Sentence Fragments? Definition and Examples
  • Homographs: What Are Homographs? Definition and Examples
  • Loan Words: What Are Loan Words? Definition and Examples
  • Singular and Plural: Understanding Singular and Plural Forms in English (Examples)
  • Transition Words: What Are Transition Words? Definitions and Examples

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abstract noun of phrases

ESL Grammar

Abstract Nouns: Definition, Structure, and Useful Examples

Abstract nouns, in particular, play a crucial role in expressing emotions, thoughts, and other non-physical aspects of our experiences. Understanding the characteristics of abstract nouns is essential for effective communication and expression.

In this article, we will explore definition, examples, usages of abstract nouns. By delving into these characteristics, we can gain a deeper understanding of how abstract nouns function in our language and how to use them effectively in writing and speech.

Abstract Nouns – Picture

Abstract Nouns

What Are Abstract Nouns?

Abstract nouns are a type of noun that represent intangible ideas or concepts that cannot be perceived with the five senses. These nouns refer to things that are not directly observable, such as emotions, feelings, ideas, and qualities. Abstract nouns are the opposite of concrete nouns, which refer to things that can be perceived with the senses, such as people, animals, and objects.

Examples of abstract nouns include love, courage, freedom, beauty, and intelligence. These nouns represent concepts that cannot be touched, seen, or heard, but are still important in our lives. Abstract nouns are often used to express emotions, feelings, or ideas that are difficult to describe in concrete terms.

One way to identify abstract nouns is to look for words that end in -ness, -ity, -ism, -tion, -ment, -ence, or -ance. These suffixes often indicate that a word is an abstract noun. For example, happiness, sincerity, patriotism, communication, development, and intelligence are all abstract nouns.

Abstract Nouns Examples

Abstract nouns are words that represent ideas, emotions, concepts, and states of being that cannot be perceived by the senses. Here are some examples of abstract nouns that fall into different categories:

Emotions are a common type of abstract noun. They refer to feelings that we experience but cannot see or touch.

  • Frustration
  • Disappointment
  • Anticipation

Abstract nouns can also represent ideas or concepts that are intangible. Examples include democracy, freedom, justice, and liberty. These ideas are often associated with political or social systems and are not physical objects that can be touched or seen.

  • Responsibility
  • Perseverance
  • Empowerment
  • Spirituality

States of Being

States of being are another type of abstract noun. They refer to a person’s physical, emotional, or mental state. Examples include patience, courage, strength, and intelligence. These states of being are often described using adjectives such as patient, brave, strong, or intelligent.

  • Contentment
  • Restlessness
  • Determination
  • Intelligence

Abstract nouns can be tricky to identify because they do not refer to physical objects that we can see or touch. However, they play an important role in language and communication. They allow us to express complex ideas, emotions, and concepts that cannot be conveyed through concrete nouns.

Converting Verbs and Adjectives into Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns can be formed from verbs and adjectives by adding certain suffixes. This is a useful way to discuss the general concept behind something, rather than specific examples. Here are some common suffixes and examples of how they can be used to form abstract nouns:

-tion: This suffix is added to verbs to form abstract nouns. For example, the verb “create” can be turned into the abstract noun “creation.”

Here is a list of examples of abstract nouns formed by adding suffixes to verbs:

  • Create – Creation
  • Imagine – Imagination
  • Communicate – Communication
  • Collaborate – Collaboration
  • Explore – Exploration
  • Investigate – Investigation
  • Evaluate – Evaluation
  • Observe – Observation
  • Participate – Participation
  • Contribute – Contribution
  • Perceive – Perception
  • Reflect – Reflection
  • Converse – Conversation
  • Appreciate – Appreciation
  • Determine – Determination
  • Recognize – Recognition
  • Inspire – Inspiration
  • Educate – Education

-ity: This suffix is added to adjectives to form abstract nouns. For example, the adjective “able” can be turned into the abstract noun “ability.”

  • Generous – Generosity
  • Humble – Humility
  • Honest – Honesty
  • Sincere – Sincerity
  • Curious – Curiosity
  • Authentic – Authenticity
  • Clear – Clarity
  • Pure – Purity
  • Modest – Modesty
  • Real – Reality
  • Frivolous – Frivolity
  • Prosperous – Prosperity
  • Fragile – Fragility
  • Agile – Agility
  • Flexibile – Flexibility
  • Intense – Intensity
  • Credible – Credibility
  • Reliable – Reliability
  • Stability – Stability
  • Sensitivity – Sensitivity
  • Simplicity – Simplicity
  • Complexity – Complexity
  • Diversity – Diversity
  • Unity – Unity
  • Authenticity – Authenticity
  • Serenity – Serenity
  • Liberty – Liberty

-ment: This suffix is added to verbs to form abstract nouns. For example, the verb “develop” can be turned into the abstract noun “development.”

  • Develop – Development
  • Govern – Government
  • Establish – Establishment
  • Enrich – Enrichment
  • Entertain – Entertainment
  • Align – Alignment
  • Endorse – Endorsement
  • Implement – Implementation
  • Invest – Investment
  • Encourage – Encouragement
  • Punish – Punishment
  • Enforce – Enforcement
  • Achievement – Achievement
  • Improvement – Improvement
  • Management – Management
  • Assessment – Assessment
  • Deployment – Deployment
  • Employment – Employment
  • Engagement – Engagement
  • Adjustment – Adjustment
  • Announcement – Announcement
  • Advancement – Advancement
  • Attachment – Attachment
  • Treatment – Treatment
  • Movement – Movement
  • Judgement – Judgement
  • Refinement – Refinement
  • Retirement – Retirement

-ness: This suffix is added to adjectives to form abstract nouns. For example, the adjective “kind” can be turned into the abstract noun “kindness.”

  • Kind – Kindness
  • Happy – Happiness
  • Sad – Sadness
  • Dark – Darkness
  • Light – Lightness
  • Sweet – Sweetness
  • Bitter – Bitterness
  • Open – Openness
  • Closed – Closeness
  • Brave – Braveness
  • Bold – Boldness
  • Calm – Calmness
  • Nervous – Nervousness
  • Cool – Coolness
  • Warm – Warmness
  • Fair – Fairness
  • Clear – Clearness
  • Rich – Richness
  • Poor – Poorness
  • Full – Fullness
  • Emptiness – Emptiness
  • Soft – Softness
  • Hard – Hardness
  • Polite – Politeness
  • Rude – Rudeness
  • Gentle – Gentleness
  • Rough – Roughness
  • Weak – Weakness

-hood: This suffix is added to nouns to form abstract nouns. For example, the noun “child” can be turned into the abstract noun “childhood.”

When converting verbs and adjectives into abstract nouns, it is important to choose the right suffix to convey the intended meaning. For example, if the writer wants to discuss the process of creating something, they might use the suffix “-tion.” If they want to discuss the quality of being happy, they might use “-ity.”

Abstract Nouns vs. Concrete Nouns

Abstract nouns and concrete nouns are two different types of nouns that are used to describe different types of things. Abstract nouns describe concepts, ideas, emotions, and other intangible things that cannot be seen, touched, or heard. Concrete nouns, on the other hand, describe physical objects that can be seen, touched, or heard.

Some examples of abstract nouns include love, happiness, freedom, courage, and intelligence. These are all concepts that cannot be seen or touched, but are important to our daily lives. Concrete nouns, on the other hand, include things like trees, cars, houses, and animals. These are all physical objects that can be seen and touched.

One way to differentiate between abstract nouns and concrete nouns is to ask yourself whether the noun can be experienced through the senses. If it can be seen, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted, then it is a concrete noun. If it cannot be experienced through the senses, then it is an abstract noun.

Abstract Nouns Exercises

To reinforce the understanding of abstract nouns, exercises can be used to test knowledge and identify areas that need improvement. Here are a few examples of abstract noun exercises and their answers:

Identify the abstract noun in the following sentences:

  • The beauty of the sunset took her breath away.
  • His honesty is refreshing.
  • She showed great bravery during the crisis .
  • The teacher’s patience with her students was impressive.
  • The team’s unity led to their success.

Form abstract nouns from the following words:

  • love – love
  • happy – happiness
  • strong – strength
  • create – creation
  • help – helplessness

Identify whether the following nouns are concrete or abstract:

By practicing exercises like these, individuals can improve their understanding of abstract nouns and their usage in sentences.

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Concrete Nouns The Building Blocks of Language!

Cambridge Dictionary

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Meaning of abstract noun in English

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  • adjectivally
  • common noun
  • concrete noun
  • conjunction
  • countable noun
  • definite article
  • part of speech
  • relative pronoun

Examples of abstract noun

Translations of abstract noun.

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English Study Online

Abstract Nouns: List of 165 Important Abstract Nouns from A to Z

By: Author English Study Online

Posted on Last updated: November 3, 2023

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If you’re learning English, you’ve probably come across these tricky little words before. In this article, we’ll be exploring what abstract nouns are, how to use them, and why they’re important in the English language. We’ll be providing examples of abstract nouns and explaining how they differ from concrete nouns. We’ll also be discussing how to recognize abstract nouns in a sentence and how to use them correctly in your writing.

Table of Contents

Abstract Noun Definition

Abstract nouns are intangible concepts or ideas that cannot be experienced with the five senses. They represent things like emotions , ideas, qualities , and states of being . Unlike concrete nouns that refer to physical objects or things that can be perceived by the senses, abstract nouns cannot be seen, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted.

Examples of abstract nouns include love, peace, hope, freedom, happiness, courage, and honesty . These nouns represent concepts that cannot be measured or quantified, but they are essential to human experience and communication. For example, we use abstract nouns like love to express a deep emotional connection to someone or something.

One way to identify abstract nouns is to think about whether you can see, touch, hear, smell, or taste the thing being described. If you cannot, it is likely an abstract noun. For example, the word “ beauty” is an abstract noun because it is a concept that cannot be seen or touched.

It is important to note that abstract nouns can be difficult to define precisely because they represent intangible concepts. However, they are essential to effective communication and can add depth and nuance to our language. By understanding abstract nouns, we can better express ourselves and connect with others on a deeper level.

Abstract Nouns List

Abstract Nouns

Types of Abstract Nouns

As we mentioned earlier, abstract nouns are intangible ideas that cannot be perceived with the five senses. In this section, we will explore some of the different types of abstract nouns.

Emotions are one of the most common types of abstract nouns. They refer to feelings that we experience, such as love, anger, sadness, and happiness . These emotions cannot be seen or touched, but they can be felt and expressed through language and behavior.

Ideas are another type of abstract noun. They refer to concepts and thoughts that exist in our minds, such as freedom, democracy, justice, and equality . These ideas are not physical objects, but they can have a powerful impact on our lives and society.

Qualities are abstract nouns that describe characteristics or attributes of people, things, or ideas. Examples of qualities include honesty, bravery, intelligence, and creativity. These qualities cannot be seen or touched, but they can be demonstrated through actions and behaviors.

Experiences

Experiences are abstract nouns that refer to events or situations that we encounter in our lives. Examples of experiences include success, failure, adventure, and tragedy . These experiences cannot be physically touched or seen, but they can have a profound impact on our lives and shape who we are as individuals.

Abstract Nouns vs. Concrete Nouns

In English, nouns can be divided into two main categories: abstract nouns and concrete nouns . Abstract nouns are used to describe ideas, concepts, and feelings that cannot be perceived through the senses. Concrete nouns, on the other hand, are used to describe physical objects that can be seen, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted.

  • For example, the word “ love ” is an abstract noun because it describes a feeling or emotion that cannot be seen or touched.
  • In contrast, the word “ table ” is a concrete noun because it describes a physical object that can be seen and touched.

It is important to understand the difference between abstract and concrete nouns because they are used differently in sentences. Concrete nouns are often used as the subject or object of a sentence, while abstract nouns are often used to describe a quality or attribute of a concrete noun.

  • For example, in the sentence “ The dog chased the ball ,” “dog” and “ball” are both concrete nouns because they describe physical objects.

In the sentence “The dog showed loyalty to its owner,” “loyalty” is an abstract noun because it describes a quality of the dog’s behavior.

Here are some more examples of abstract and concrete nouns:

List of Common Abstract Nouns

Usage of abstract nouns.

Abstract nouns play a crucial role in both writing and speech. In this section, we will explore the different ways in which abstract nouns can be used effectively.

Abstract nouns are often used in writing to convey emotions and ideas that cannot be easily expressed through concrete nouns. Here are some ways in which abstract nouns can be used effectively in writing:

  • Describing emotions: Abstract nouns such as “love,” “happiness,” and “sadness” can be used to describe emotions in a way that is more impactful than using concrete nouns. For example, instead of saying “She felt a warm feeling in her heart,” we can say “She felt a deep sense of love.”
  • Explaining concepts: Abstract nouns can be used to explain complex concepts in a concise and clear manner. For example, instead of saying “The process of photosynthesis involves the conversion of light energy into chemical energy,” we can say “Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy.”
  • Creating imagery: Abstract nouns can be used to create vivid imagery in writing. For example, instead of saying “The sunset was beautiful,” we can say “The sky was painted with hues of orange, pink, and purple, creating a breathtaking display of beauty.”

Abstract nouns are also commonly used in speech to convey ideas and emotions. Here are some ways in which abstract nouns can be used effectively in speech:

  • Expressing feelings: Abstract nouns can be used to express feelings and emotions in a way that is more impactful than using concrete nouns. For example, instead of saying “I am happy,” we can say “I am filled with a sense of happiness.”
  • Discussing ideas: Abstract nouns can be used to discuss complex ideas and concepts in a clear and concise manner. For example, instead of saying “The economy is experiencing a period of growth,” we can say “There is a sense of prosperity in the economy.”
  • Creating connections: Abstract nouns can be used to create connections between different ideas and concepts. For example, instead of saying “These two ideas are related,” we can say “There is a strong connection between these two concepts.”

Abstract Nouns List | Infographic

Abstract Nouns

Practice Exercises

Practice exercises are a great way to reinforce your understanding of abstract nouns. In this section, we’ll cover two types of exercises: identifying exercises and usage exercises.

Identifying Exercises

In identifying exercises, you’ll be asked to identify the abstract noun in a sentence. Here are a few examples:

  • The beauty of nature is awe-inspiring.
  • Her kindness towards others is admirable.
  • The concept of time is difficult to grasp.

In each of these sentences, the abstract noun is underlined. Can you identify them? The answers are:

Usage Exercises

Usage exercises are a bit more challenging. In these exercises, you’ll be asked to use abstract nouns in your own sentences. Here are a few examples:

  • Write a sentence using the abstract noun “love”.
  • Write a sentence using the abstract noun “happiness”.
  • Write a sentence using the abstract noun “freedom”.

Here are some possible answers:

  • Our love for each other grows stronger every day.
  • Her happiness was contagious and spread to everyone around her.
  • Freedom is a fundamental right that should be protected at all costs.

Practice exercises are a great way to improve your understanding of abstract nouns. Make sure to keep practicing until you feel confident in your ability to identify and use abstract nouns correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common examples of abstract nouns in English?

There are many examples of abstract nouns in English, including love, courage, intelligence, creativity, communication, development, importance, and many more. Abstract nouns are words that describe intangible concepts or ideas that cannot be seen, touched, or heard.

How can abstract nouns be formed?

Abstract nouns can be formed in several ways. One common way is to add a suffix to a verb, such as -tion, -ment, -ness, -ity, or -ance. For example, the verb “create” can be turned into the abstract noun “creativity” by adding the suffix -ity. Another way to form abstract nouns is by converting adjectives into abstract nouns, such as “beauty” from “beautiful” or “happiness” from “happy”.

Is the word ’emotion’ considered an abstract noun?

Yes, the word ’emotion’ is considered an abstract noun. Emotion is an intangible concept that cannot be seen or touched. It is a feeling or state of mind that is often associated with specific physical sensations , but is not itself a physical object. Other examples of abstract nouns that are related to emotions include love, happiness, sadness, and anger.

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Abstract Nouns: A Guide to Writing with Clarity and Precision

By: Author ESLBUZZ

Posted on Last updated: August 18, 2023

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Welcome to our article on abstract nouns! If you’re learning English grammar, you’ve probably come across these elusive nouns that can be tough to define. Abstract nouns are words that represent intangible concepts, such as emotions, ideas, and qualities. Unlike concrete nouns, which refer to physical objects, abstract nouns are a bit more challenging to grasp.

In this article, we’ll explore what abstract nouns are, how to use them correctly, and why they’re an essential part of English grammar. We’ll provide plenty of examples to help you understand abstract nouns better and show you how to identify them in a sentence. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced English learner, this article will provide you with the tools you need to master abstract nouns. So, let’s dive in!

Abstract Nouns

Abstract Nouns: A Guide to Writing with Clarity and Precision

Understanding Abstract Nouns

If you’re learning English, you’ve probably come across the term “abstract noun.” Abstract nouns are a type of noun that refer to ideas, concepts, and emotions that cannot be touched or seen. They are the opposite of concrete nouns, which refer to physical objects that can be perceived with our senses.

To help you understand abstract nouns better, let’s take a look at some examples:

  • Intelligence

As you can see, these words are not things that you can touch or see. They are concepts that we use to describe ideas and emotions.

One way to identify an abstract noun is to look for nouns that end in -ness, -ity, -tion, -ment, or -ance. For example:

  • Communication
  • Development

These endings are often used to form abstract nouns from other parts of speech, such as adjectives and verbs.

It’s important to note that abstract nouns can be difficult to define and understand because they are intangible. However, they are an essential part of the English language and are used frequently in both spoken and written communication.

Abstract Nouns vs. Concrete Nouns

Nouns are words that name people, places, things, or ideas. They can be classified into two broad categories: abstract nouns and concrete nouns.

Concrete nouns are physical things that can be seen, touched, heard, tasted, or smelled. Examples of concrete nouns include dog, ball, ice cream, and perfume.

Abstract nouns, on the other hand, are non-physical ideas or concepts that cannot be perceived through the senses. They are intangible and exist only in the mind. Examples of abstract nouns include love, freedom, happiness, and courage.

Usage Comparison

Concrete nouns are used to describe things that can be experienced through the senses. They are often used in descriptive writing to create vivid images in the reader’s mind.

Abstract nouns, on the other hand, are used to describe things that cannot be experienced through the senses. They are often used in persuasive writing to convey emotions, ideas, and concepts.

Here are some examples to help you understand the difference between concrete and abstract nouns:

Identifying Abstract Nouns

As we learned in the previous section, abstract nouns refer to intangible concepts, ideas, and qualities that cannot be touched or seen. Identifying abstract nouns can be challenging, especially for non-native English speakers. However, with a little practice, you can easily distinguish abstract nouns from concrete nouns.

Here are some tips to help you identify abstract nouns:

  • Look for words that represent emotions, feelings, or states of mind, such as love, happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and courage.
  • Identify words that describe qualities or characteristics, such as beauty, honesty, intelligence, and kindness.
  • Notice words that represent concepts, ideas, or theories, such as democracy , freedom, justice, and equality.
  • Pay attention to words that represent actions or processes, such as communication, cooperation, and development.

Usage of Abstract Nouns in Sentences

Expressing Emotions

Abstract nouns are commonly used to express emotions. They can describe feelings like happiness, sadness, anger, or love. Using abstract nouns to describe emotions can add depth and nuance to your writing, and it can help you convey your thoughts and feelings more effectively.

For example:

  • I felt a surge of joy when I saw my dog after a long day at work.
  • Her eyes were filled with sadness when she heard the news.
  • His anger boiled over when he realized he had been betrayed.

Describing Concepts

Abstract nouns are also used to describe concepts and ideas. They can represent things like justice, freedom, democracy, or equality. Using abstract nouns to describe concepts can help you convey complex ideas in a concise and straightforward manner.

  • The concept of democracy is based on the idea of equal representation.
  • Justice is a fundamental principle in any civilized society.
  • The pursuit of happiness is a universal human desire.

Representing Ideas

Abstract nouns are essential in representing ideas. They can represent things like knowledge, wisdom, creativity, or innovation. Using abstract nouns to represent ideas can help you convey your thoughts and ideas more effectively.

  • Knowledge is the key to success in any field.
  • Wisdom comes with experience and reflection.
  • Creativity is the ability to think outside the box and come up with new ideas.

Common Mistakes with Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns can be tricky to use correctly, and many writers make common mistakes when using them. Here are a few of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: Confusing Abstract Nouns with Concrete Nouns

One of the most common mistakes when using abstract nouns is confusing them with concrete nouns. Concrete nouns refer to physical objects that can be seen, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted. Abstract nouns, on the other hand, refer to ideas, concepts, emotions, and qualities that cannot be perceived by the senses.

For example, “love” is an abstract noun, while “book” is a concrete noun. Confusing these two types of nouns can lead to awkward or confusing sentences. To avoid this mistake, make sure you understand the difference between abstract and concrete nouns and use them correctly in your writing.

Mistake #2: Overusing Abstract Nouns

Another common mistake is overusing abstract nouns in your writing. While abstract nouns can add depth and complexity to your writing, using too many of them can make your writing sound vague and abstract.

For example, instead of writing “the beauty of nature,” try writing “the colorful leaves rustling in the autumn breeze.” This sentence still conveys the idea of beauty, but it also includes concrete details that make the writing more vivid and engaging.

Mistake #4: Using Abstract Nouns without Context

Using abstract nouns without providing context can also be a mistake. Abstract nouns can be difficult to understand without a frame of reference. For example, instead of writing “the importance of education,” write “the importance of education in shaping a person’s future.”

Providing context helps readers understand the abstract noun and its significance. Without context, abstract nouns can seem vague and meaningless.

Tips to Master Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns can be tricky to master, but with a few tips, you can improve your understanding and use of them in your writing. Here are some tips to help you master abstract nouns:

Tip 1: Identify Abstract Nouns

The first step to mastering abstract nouns is to identify them. Abstract nouns refer to intangible ideas, feelings, qualities, or concepts that you cannot see, touch, or smell. Some examples of abstract nouns include love, beauty, freedom, and happiness. To identify abstract nouns in a sentence, look for words that describe things that cannot be perceived by the five senses.

Tip 2: Use Concrete Examples

One way to master abstract nouns is to use concrete examples to illustrate them. For example, instead of just saying “happiness,” you could say “the happiness I felt when I saw my family after a long time.” Using concrete examples helps to clarify the meaning of abstract nouns and makes your writing more engaging.

Tip 3: Use the Right Articles

Another tip for mastering abstract nouns is to use the right articles. Abstract nouns are usually uncountable, so they are often preceded by the articles “a,” “an,” or “the.”

Tip 4: Use the Right Adjectives

When using abstract nouns, it’s important to use the right adjectives to describe them. Adjectives like “strong,” “positive,” and “negative” can be used to describe abstract nouns like “willpower,” “attitude,” and “emotion.” Using the right adjectives helps to convey the meaning of abstract nouns more clearly.

Tip 5: Practice, Practice, Practice

Finally, the best way to master abstract nouns is to practice using them in your writing. Try to use abstract nouns in your sentences and paragraphs, and ask for feedback from others to see if your meaning is clear. The more you practice, the more confident you will become in using abstract nouns correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of abstract nouns?

Some examples of abstract nouns include love, happiness, justice, freedom, and courage. These nouns refer to concepts or ideas that cannot be seen or touched but are still important in our lives.

How do abstract nouns differ from concrete nouns?

Abstract nouns refer to intangible concepts or ideas, while concrete nouns refer to things that can be seen, touched, or experienced through the senses. For example, while love is an abstract noun, a tree is a concrete noun.

Can you provide some sentences with abstract nouns?

Sure! Here are some examples:

  • The beauty of the sunset took my breath away.
  • His kindness towards others is admirable.
  • The freedom to express ourselves is a basic human right.
  • The sadness in her eyes was palpable.

What is the importance of using abstract nouns in writing?

Abstract nouns can add depth and complexity to your writing by allowing you to explore complex ideas and emotions. They can also help you create a more vivid and sensory experience for your readers.

How can children learn about abstract nouns?

One way to teach children about abstract nouns is to encourage them to think about concepts or ideas that cannot be seen or touched. You can also provide them with examples of abstract nouns and ask them to identify the noun in a sentence.

What are some common abstract noun phrases?

Some common abstract noun phrases include:

  • A sense of purpose
  • A feeling of joy
  • A state of confusion
  • An attitude of gratitude
  • A moment of reflection

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By using abstract noun phrases, you can convey complex ideas and emotions in a concise and powerful way.

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What Are Abstract Nouns And How Do You Use Them?

  • What's An Abstract Noun?
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You probably know that a noun is a word that refers to a person, place, thing, or idea—this is a grammar concept we learn pretty early on in school. And there are, of course, several different types of nouns that we use to refer to all of the things we experience during our lives: We eat food. We meet friends. We go to the store. These nouns refer to the people and physical objects that we interact with.

But what about the things that we can’t actually see or touch? Aren’t words like love , victory , and alliance nouns, too? Yes, they are, and there is a term you may not remember from your grade-school days that we use to refer to these things: the abstract noun.

abstract noun of phrases

What is an abstract noun?

An abstract noun is “a noun denoting something immaterial and abstract.” Another common way to think about abstract nouns is that they refer to things that you cannot experience with the five senses . You cannot see, smell, hear, taste, or touch abstract nouns. Abstract nouns refer to intangible things that don’t exist as physical objects.

For example, the word cat refers to a cute animal. You can see and touch a cat. The noun cat is not an abstract noun. On the other hand, the word luck refers to a complex idea about how likely it is that good or bad events are going to happen to someone. Luck doesn’t exist as a physical object; you can’t eat luck nor can you go to a store and buy luck. Luck is an abstract noun because it refers to an intangible concept rather than a physical object that we can experience with our senses.

What about those nouns that you can tangibly sense? Learn more about concrete nouns here.

Abstract noun examples

Unlike most other nouns, abstract nouns don’t refer to people or places. After all, people and places are real things that exist in our world. Even nouns that refer to fictional characters and places, such as Godzilla or Valhalla , are not, the reasoning goes, abstract nouns because these things would have a physical form if they were actually real.

So, all abstract nouns are “things.” Remember, though, that abstract nouns only refer to intangible things such as emotions, ideas, philosophies, and concepts. Let’s stop being abstract and look at some specific examples so we can get a better understanding of abstract nouns.

Even though we often say that we “feel” emotions, we don’t mean that literally. You “feel” emotions like happiness or anger as thoughts in your mind or activity in your brain and body. You can’t hold happiness in your hand or eat a plate of sadness. You can see people or animals expressing these emotions through actions, but emotions are not tangible objects. So, we refer to them with abstract nouns.

  • Examples: happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, disgust, joy, fear, anxiety, hope

Ideas, concepts and beliefs

Besides emotions, abstract nouns are also used to refer to other concepts and ideas. These kinds of abstract nouns give names to complex topics and give us a glimpse into a big part of what makes us human—our big, wrinkly brains! While most abstract nouns are common nouns, meaning that they refer to general ideas, they can also be proper nouns, such as Christianity.

  • Examples: government, dedication, cruelty, justice, Christianity, Islam, Cubism

List of abstract nouns

Abstract nouns can be pretty tough to understand, so let’s look at a bunch more:

  • religion, science, experimentation, research, magnetism, creativity, invisibility, kindness, greed, laziness, effort, speed, concentration, confusion, dizziness, time, situation, existence, death, anarchy, law, democracy, relief, opportunity, technology, discovery, hopelessness, defeat, friendship, patience, decay, holiness, youth, childhood, Stoicism, Marxism

The difference between abstract & concrete nouns

Getting a grasp on what abstract nouns are, exactly, can be tough. While abstract nouns refer to intangible things without a physical form, all of the people, places, and things that do actually have a physical form are referred to by a type of noun: a concrete noun. Unlike abstract nouns, concrete nouns can be experienced with the five senses: they can take a material form rather than an image, say, in your mind’s eye of catness.  You can see a tree . You can eat a pineapple. You can hear an engine. You can smell socks. You can touch a lamp.

So, your five senses can help you distinguish between abstract and concrete nouns. Remember, words for fictional people, places, and things are considered to be concrete nouns even if they don’t actually exist in our world. You may not be able to smell a zombie in everyday life, but you would be able to if it were real—just remember to run away if you ever saw one!

Concrete and Abstract Nouns Chart

Let’s put your noun knowledge to the test with some example sentences. Read each sentence and see if you can figure out if each italicized noun is an abstract noun or a concrete noun.

  • Billionaire Jeff Bezos is famous for his wealth.
  • Next week, we are going on vacation to Belgium.
  • When I grow up, I want to be a superhero.
  • They said he was possessed by a ghost.
  • The robot had many impressive abilities.
  • Her blindness didn’t stop her from being successful.
  • I was attacked by a swarm of bees.
  • She sells seashells by the seashore.
  • We heard shouting from next door.
  •  The girl just wants attention from her parents.

Good grammar: not an abstract concept

We’ve got a noun for you: genius! And that’s what you’ll be when you check your writing on Thesaurus.com’s Grammar Coach™ . This writing tool uses machine learning technology uniquely designed to catch grammar and spelling errors. Its Synonym Swap will find the best nouns, adjectives, and more to help say what you really mean, guiding you toward clearer, stronger, writing.

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Answers: 1. Abstract 2. Concrete 3. Concrete 4. Concrete 5. Abstract 6. Abstract 7. Concrete 8. Concrete 9. Concrete 10. Abstract

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abstract noun of phrases

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Abstract Nouns

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Summary Overview

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Test your noun knowledge with our fun and engaging nouns quiz., what are abstract nouns | examples, tip & trick, introduction.

In English grammar, abstract nouns refer to intangible concepts, ideas, or qualities that cannot be seen or touched physically. Examples of abstract nouns include happiness, love, justice, freedom, and courage. Understanding and using abstract nouns is essential for effective communication in both writing and speech. In this article, we will explore the importance of abstract nouns, their usage in different contexts, common mistakes to avoid, and some funny examples to illustrate their usage.

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Explanation of Abstract Nouns
  • 1.3 Table of Abstract Nouns
  • 1.4.1 Example in Simple Sentences
  • 1.4.2 Example in Complicated Sentences
  • 1.5.1 Using Abstract Nouns in Writing
  • 1.5.2 Using Abstract Nouns in Writing
  • 1.5.3 Common Mistakes to Avoid
  • 1.6 Short Sentence Examples of Abstract Nouns
  • 1.7.1 Download Free PDF

Explanation of Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns are nouns that refer to concepts, ideas, or qualities that cannot be seen, heard, touched, smelled, or tasted physical. They are often the opposite of concrete nouns, which are nouns that refer to objects or things that can be perceived through the senses. For example, while “tree” is a concrete noun that refers to a physical object, “happiness” is an abstract noun that refers to a feeling or state of mind.

Table of Abstract Nouns

Usage of abstract nouns.

Abstract nouns can be used in different contexts to express a wide range of ideas and emotions. Here are some examples of how abstract nouns are used in simple and complicated sentences:

Example in Simple Sentences

Love is the most powerful force in the world. Honesty is the best policy. Freedom is a basic human right.

Example in Complicated Sentences

The concept of democracy is based on the principles of freedom, equality, and justice for all citizens, regardless of their race, gender, or social status. The beauty of nature is often overlooked in our fast-paced and technology-driven society, where we tend to focus more on material wealth and consumerism.

Tips and Tricks for Using Abstract Nouns

Using abstract nouns effectively requires some skills and strategies. Here are some tips and tricks to help you use abstract nouns in your writing and speech:

Be precise: Use abstract nouns that accurately reflect the idea or concept you want to express. Avoid vague or ambiguous terms that can confuse or mislead your audience. Use metaphors and analogies: Abstract nouns can be difficult to grasp, especially for people who are not familiar with the context or topic. Using metaphors and analogies can help to clarify and illustrate abstract concepts in a more tangible and accessible way. Use examples and anecdotes: Concrete examples and real-life stories can help to make abstract concepts more relatable and memorable for your audience. Use contrasting pairs: Contrasting pairs are pairs of abstract nouns that are opposite in meaning but related in some way. Using contrasting pairs can help to create a sense of balance and harmony in your language.

Using Abstract Nouns in Writing

Abstract nouns are commonly used in academic and formal writing, such as essays, research papers, and reports. Here are some ways to use abstract nouns effectively in writing:

Use abstract nouns to convey complex ideas and concepts that require more than one word or phrase to express. For example, instead of saying “the idea that everyone is equal,” you can use the abstract noun “equality.” Use abstract nouns to express emotions and feelings that cannot be easily described by concrete nouns. For example, instead of saying “she felt sad,” you can use the abstract noun “sadness.” Use abstract nouns to establish the tone and style of your writing. For example, using abstract nouns such as “dignity,” “honor,” and “respect” can create a more formal and serious tone, while using abstract nouns such as “joy,” “excitement,” and “fun” can create a more informal and playful tone.

Abstract nouns are also used in speech to express ideas, emotions, and values. Here are some ways to use abstract nouns effectively in speech:

Use abstract nouns to express your opinions and beliefs about important issues, such as politics, religion, and social justice. For example, instead of saying “I think everyone should have equal rights,” you can use the abstract noun “justice.” Use abstract nouns to inspire and motivate your audience. For example, using abstract nouns such as “hope,” “dream,” and “vision” can encourage people to think about the future and strive for a better world. Use abstract nouns to create a sense of unity and community. For example, using abstract nouns such as “love,” “compassion,” and “empathy” can bring people together and promote mutual understanding and respect.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using vague or ambiguous abstract nouns that do not accurately reflect the idea or concept you want to express. Overusing abstract nouns to the point where they become meaningless or repetitive. Using abstract nouns without providing concrete examples or explanations that help to clarify their meaning and relevance.

Correct: “Love is a powerful emotion that can inspire people to do great things.” Explanation: “Love” is an abstract noun because it refers to a feeling or concept rather than a physical object. This sentence is correct because it uses “love” as an abstract noun and provides additional information about it.

Incorrect: “I am feeling happiness after eating a delicious meal.” Explanation: “Happiness” is an abstract noun because it refers to a feeling or concept rather than a physical object. However, this sentence is incorrect because “feeling happiness” is an awkward construction. Instead, it would be more natural to say “I am happy after eating a delicious meal.” This uses the adjective form of the abstract noun “happiness” rather than the noun itself.

Short Sentence Examples of Abstract Nouns

Procrastination is my middle name. Awkwardness is my superpower. Happiness is a warm puppy, according to Charles Schulz.

FAQs About Abstract Nouns

abstract noun of phrases

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David's Master's degree in English, along with his exposure to diverse cultures and languages, makes him a valuable asset to the academic community. He is a proficient writer in his field of expertise, thanks to his educational background and interest in language and literature.

abstract noun of phrases

What is an Abstract Noun? – Definition, Rules, Usage, and Examples

What is an abstract noun.

Language is a powerful tool that allows us to express our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Within the realm of language, nouns play a fundamental role in conveying meaning. While many of us are familiar with concrete nouns, which represent tangible objects, there exists another category known as abstract nouns. In this blog, we will explore the definition, rules, usage, and examples of abstract nouns, shedding light on their importance in effective communication.

Definition of Abstract Nouns :

An abstract noun refers to a concept, quality, or state that cannot be perceived through the five senses. Unlike concrete nouns, which denote physical objects, abstract nouns represent intangible ideas, emotions, or characteristics. They are the language’s way of expressing our thoughts, feelings, and experiences that exist beyond the realm of the physical world.

Rules for Identifying Abstract Nouns:

  • Intangibility: Abstract nouns cannot be perceived through the senses. They cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched.
  • Conceptual Nature: Abstract nouns represent ideas, emotions, qualities, or states rather than specific objects.
  • Non-Countability: Abstract nouns are typically uncountable and do not have a plural form. They are treated as singular in sentences.

Usage of Abstract Nouns:

  • Emotional Expression: Abstract nouns allow us to articulate our emotions. Words like love, happiness, anger, fear, and sadness represent intangible feelings that shape our human experience. Example: His generosity and kindness touched the hearts of many.
  • Qualities and Attributes: Abstract nouns are used to describe qualities or attributes that cannot be physically observed. They represent characteristics such as bravery, honesty, intelligence, beauty, and patience. Example: The team admired her determination and perseverance.
  • Concepts and Ideas: Abstract nouns help us convey abstract concepts or ideas. They include notions such as freedom, justice, democracy, peace, and creativity. Example: Education is the key to unlocking a brighter future.
  • States and Conditions: Abstract nouns express states or conditions that are not tangible. They encompass words like happiness, success, freedom, friendship, and knowledge. Example: The pursuit of truth is an inherent human desire.
  • Processes and Actions: Abstract nouns can also represent processes or actions that cannot be observed directly. They refer to activities such as communication, leadership, cooperation, and discovery. Example: Collaboration is crucial for achieving collective goals.

Examples of Abstract Nouns:

Abstract nouns serve as the linguistic vehicles through which we express the intangible aspects of human existence. They allow us to convey emotions, describe qualities, articulate concepts, and capture the essence of our experiences. By understanding the definition, rules, usage, and examples of abstract nouns, we can enhance our communication skills and delve deeper into the complexities of language. So, the next time you come across an abstract noun, take a moment to appreciate its ability to transcend the physical world and enrich our understanding of the human condition.

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  • Abstract Nouns

Abstract Nouns - Definition, Examples and Usage

Abstract nouns are naming words that you cannot see, smell, touch or perceive by any of your five senses. Learn more about abstract nouns, definitions, examples and usage of abstract nouns in this article.

Table of Contents

Definition of an abstract noun, converting verbs and adjectives into abstract nouns, test your knowledge on abstract nouns, frequently asked questions on abstract nouns, what is an abstract noun.

An abstract noun is used to refer to concepts, ideas, experiences, traits, feelings or entities that cannot be seen, heard, tasted, smelt or touched. Abstract nouns are not concrete or tangible. There are a lot of abstract nouns (virtues) used in proverbs.

An abstract noun is defined as ‘a noun , for example, beauty or freedom , that refers to an idea or a general quality, not to a physical object’, according to the Oxford Learners Dictionary. According to Collins Dictionary, ‘an abstract noun refers to a quality or idea rather than to a physical object.’

Examples of Abstract Nouns

Check out the following examples of abstract nouns.

A verb or an adjective can be converted into an abstract noun by the addition of a suffix and vice versa. Have a look at the examples given below.

Converting Verbs to Abstract Nouns

  • Move – movement
  • Reflect – reflection
  • Perceive – perception
  • Conscious – Consciousness
  • Appear – Appearance
  • Resist – Resistance
  • Appoint – appointment
  • Enjoy – enjoyment
  • Assign – assignment
  • Inform – information
  • Decide – decision
  • Describe – description
  • Determine – determination
  • Block – blockade

Converting Adjectives to Abstract Nouns

  • Brave – bravery
  • Truth – truthful
  • Honest – honesty
  • Weak – weakness
  • Happy – happiness
  • Sad – sadness
  • Mad – madness
  • Responsible – responsibility
  • Possible – possibility
  • Probable – probability
  • Able – ability
  • Independent – independence
  • Free – freedom
  • Silent – silence

Some words can function both as a noun and a verb without any change in spelling. Here are some examples for you.

  • Love as a verb – I love the way she works with it.

Love as a noun – Love is one of the qualities everyone should possess

  • Divorce as a verb – Harry cannot divorce his wife.

Divorce as a noun – Are you getting a divorce?

  • Aim as a verb – You have to aim for the highest grades.

Aim as a noun – What is your aim?

  • Battle as a verb – Teena had to battle hard to stay in shape.

Battle as a noun – Do you know who won the battle?

  • Play as a verb – The children are playing outdoor games.

Play as a noun – The Shakespearean play was performed by young artists.

Let us now check how much you have learned about abstract nouns. Identify the abstract nouns in the following sentences.

  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • There is no possibility for you to reach home by six in the evening.
  • This place has a really pleasant ambience.
  • Pride goes before a fall.
  • Brevity is the soul of wit.
  • That man is testing my patience.
  • Have you read about the theory of evolution?
  • Truthfulness is always appreciated.
  • Friendship is priceless.
  • What do you think about his idea?

Let us find out if you have understood correctly. Check your answers here.

  • Honesty is the best policy .
  • This place has a really pleasant ambience .
  • Brevity is the soul of wit .
  • That man is testing my patience .
  • Have you read about the theory of evolution ?
  • What do you think about his idea ?

What is an abstract noun?

An abstract noun is used to refer to concepts, ideas, experiences, traits, feelings or entities that cannot be seen, heard, tasted, smelt or touched. Abstract nouns are not concrete or tangible.

Give some examples of abstract nouns.

Love, concept, experience, courage, judgement, probability, freedom and soul are some examples of abstract nouns.

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Subject-verb agreement in chiyao conjoined noun phrases, julius john taji, abel yamwaka mreta.

This paper discusses different strategies for establishing concord with conjoined noun phrases in Chiyao (P.21), a cross-border Bantu language spoken by about three million people scattered in five countries of eastern and southern Africa. The findings reveal that various options are available in Chiyao for showing concord in conjoined noun phrases (NPs*). These include the use of default agreement markers a- (class 2) for human nouns, and i- (class 8) for non-human nouns; the use of an agreement marker of the noun closest to the verb, as a default strategy for locative and post-verbal conjoined noun phrases; taking an agreement marker from a human noun in cases where the conjunct involves a human and a non-human noun; and opting for a compound sentence, thus avoiding the conjoined construction. The paper is organized into six sections. The first section introduces the problem and provides background information to the language and its speakers. The second section presents the methodological issues of the study. The third section discusses subject-verb agreement strategies in Chiyao. The fourth section presents a brief review of previous works on conjoined noun phrases in Bantu. The fifth section discusses different strategies for establishing concord with conjoined noun phrases in Chiyao, and the last section provides a conclusion.

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COMMENTS

  1. Abstract Noun: Definition and Examples

    An abstract noun is a word that refers to something intangible, such as an emotion (e.g., anger, hate), a feeling (e.g., anxiety, fear), a quality (e.g., courage, patience), or an idea. An abstract noun does not represent a physical object. It is the opposite of a concrete noun.

  2. Abstract Noun

    An abstract noun is a noun that refers to something non-physical—something conceptual that you can't perceive directly with your senses. Examples include "sadness," "analysis," "government," and "adulthood."

  3. Abstract Nouns: What They Are and How to Use Them

    Matt Ellis Updated on October 6, 2022 Grammar Abstract nouns represent intangible ideas—things you can't perceive with the five main senses. Words like love, time, beauty, and science are all abstract nouns because you can't touch them or see them. Without a tangible frame of reference, abstract nouns can be hard to pin down with grammar rules.

  4. What Is Abstract Noun? Definitions, Rules & Examples

    Justice Loyalty Wisdom Rules for Identifying Abstract Nouns Here are some rules to help you identify abstract nouns: Abstract nouns are always singular. They cannot be perceived by the five senses. They are usually intangible. They can be formed from adjectives, verbs, and common nouns.

  5. Definition and Examples of Abstract Nouns in English

    In English grammar, an abstract noun is a noun or noun phrase that names an idea, event, quality, or concept—for example, courage, freedom, progress, love, patience, excellence, and friendship. An abstract noun names something that can't be physically touched. Contrast that with a concrete noun .

  6. Abstract Nouns: Definition, Types, and Useful Examples • 7ESL

    8k What is an abstract noun? If you are looking for words to describe conceptual ideas, you might want to use abstract nouns. You may have known that bbstract nouns are a type of noun that illustrate metaphysical concepts — notions that someone can not identify with their physical senses.

  7. Understanding an Abstract Noun (Definition, Examples, Word List)

    Proper Nouns Proper nouns are naming agents for places, people, or things. They usually start with a capital letter. For example: My name is Lisa. (Lisa is the proper noun) John lives in Finland. (Finland is the proper noun) Jazz is a famous book. (Jazz is the proper noun) Common Nouns

  8. Abstract Nouns: What Are Abstract Nouns? Definition and Examples

    tenderness, bravery, beauty concepts socialism, knowledge, freedom states beginning, life, peace measurements of time hour, tomorrow, Monday movements Christianity, feminism, Black Lives Matter Following are some examples of abstract nouns ( underlined) in a sentence. It isn't an easy transition moving to another country.

  9. Abstract Nouns: Definition, Structure, and Useful Examples

    Abstract nouns are the opposite of concrete nouns, which refer to things that can be perceived with the senses, such as people, animals, and objects. Examples of abstract nouns include love, courage, freedom, beauty, and intelligence. These nouns represent concepts that cannot be touched, seen, or heard, but are still important in our lives.

  10. ABSTRACT NOUN definition

    us / ˌæb.strækt ˈnaʊn / uk / ˌæb.strækt ˈnaʊn / Add to word list a noun that refers to a thing that does not exist as a material object: "Happiness," " honesty ," and "liberty" are abstract nouns. Compare concrete noun SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases Linguistics: parts of speech adj adjectival adjectivally adjunct adv adverb adverbial

  11. Abstract Noun

    Abstract nouns can usually be identified in a sentence by determining, first, if the word is a noun (person, place, thing, or idea that functions as a subject or object).

  12. Examples of Abstract Nouns

    , Senior Writer Updated May 16, 2022 Image Credits Abstract nouns refer to intangible things, like feelings, ideas, concepts, and qualities. Love, curiosity, grief, chaos, and friendship are all abstract nouns. These nouns can't be felt with the senses, but you know they're there — and you probably use them every day.

  13. Abstract Nouns: List of 165 Important Abstract Nouns from A to Z

    4161 If you're learning English, you've probably come across these tricky little words before. In this article, we'll be exploring what abstract nouns are, how to use them, and why they're important in the English language. We'll be providing examples of abstract nouns and explaining how they differ from concrete nouns.

  14. Abstract Nouns: A Guide to Writing with Clarity and Precision

    Courage Intelligence As you can see, these words are not things that you can touch or see. They are concepts that we use to describe ideas and emotions. One way to identify an abstract noun is to look for nouns that end in -ness, -ity, -tion, -ment, or -ance. For example: Happiness Creativity Communication

  15. What Is An Abstract Noun?

    April 20, 2021 What's An Abstract Noun? Examples Abstract Vs. Concrete Nouns Get Help With Grammar Coach You probably know that a noun is a word that refers to a person, place, thing, or idea—this is a grammar concept we learn pretty early on in school.

  16. Abstract Nouns

    Use abstract nouns to convey complex ideas and concepts that require more than one word or phrase to express. For example, instead of saying "the idea that everyone is equal," you can use the abstract noun "equality." Use abstract nouns to express emotions and feelings that cannot be easily described by concrete nouns.

  17. What is an Abstract Noun

    Wisdom is another idea or concept. When Friday came, I felt happiness wash over me. Days of the week are also abstract as they are not tangible. They are also proper nouns. It is nearly the end of October - time for Halloween! Similarly, the names of the months are abstract and proper too. Events and festivals are also abstract and usually proper.

  18. What is an Abstract Noun?

    An abstract noun refers to a concept, quality, or state that cannot be perceived through the five senses. Unlike concrete nouns, which denote physical objects, abstract nouns represent intangible ideas, emotions, or characteristics. They are the language's way of expressing our thoughts, feelings, and experiences that exist beyond the realm ...

  19. How To Use "An Abstract Noun" In A Sentence: Diving Deeper

    An abstract noun is a type of noun that refers to a concept, quality, or state rather than a tangible object. Unlike concrete nouns, which represent something that can be perceived by the senses, abstract nouns encompass ideas, emotions, feelings, and other intangible aspects of human experience.

  20. The Ultimate 1000 List of Abstract Nouns from A to Z

    Abstract nouns are an essential part of the English language, and they allow us to describe intangible concepts, feelings, and ideas. In this article, we will present the ultimate list of 1000 abstract nouns from A to Z, perfect for anyone looking to expand their vocabulary and enhance their creative writing skills.

  21. Abstract Noun

    An abstract noun is a noun that refers to something non-physical - something conceptual that you can't perceive directly with your senses. Examples include 'sadness', 'analysis', 'government', and 'adulthood'. Abstract nouns are contrasted with concrete nouns, which are words like 'cat', 'desk', or 'Andrew' that ...

  22. Abstract Nouns

    Reflection Converting Verbs and Adjectives into Abstract Nouns A verb or an adjective can be converted into an abstract noun by the addition of a suffix and vice versa. Have a look at the examples given below. Converting Verbs to Abstract Nouns Move - movement Reflect - reflection

  23. 125 Abstract Noun Examples in Sentences

    Abstract nouns are things that cannot be felt by the five senses. They are intangible things, like ideas, quality, feelings, or experiences. You cannot see, hear, touch, smell, or taste something that is an abstract noun. Here are some of the most used abstract nouns with example sentences: 1.

  24. Subject-Verb Agreement in Chiyao Conjoined Noun Phrases

    Abstract. This paper discusses different strategies for establishing concord with conjoined noun phrases in Chiyao (P.21), a cross-border Bantu language spoken by about three million people scattered in five countries of eastern and southern Africa. The findings reveal that various options are available in Chiyao for showing concord in ...

  25. `Keep it Together': Enforcing Cohesion in Extractive Summaries by

    Our sentence selector simulates human memory to keep track of topics --modeled as lexical chains--, enforcing cohesive ties between noun phrases. Across a variety of domains, our experiments revealed that it is possible to extract highly cohesive summaries that nevertheless read as informative to humans as summaries extracted by only accounting ...