Concrete and Abstract Nouns


Firstly, concrete and abstract nouns are types of common nouns. If you need an overview of the different types of nouns, click here.

Concrete nouns

Concrete nouns are usually very easy for students to understand. They are things that can be seen or touched. Just look around you, everything that you can see or touch is a concrete noun. For example:

  • chair, table, car, book, desk, apple, baseball, pencil, notebook, laptop, phone.

Abstract nouns

Abstract nouns are nouns that cannot be seen or touched. They are things like ideas, feelings or emotions. For example:

  • love, happiness, excitement, criticism, reason, strength, morning, afternoon, beauty.


Sometimes abstract nouns are difficult to identify because learners don't think things like trust  or bravery  are nouns, but they are.

Remember that certain English words can function as more than one part of speech depending on how they are used in a sentence.

For example, let's look at the word "love." Depending on the meaning of the sentence it could be a verb or a noun:

  • I love my dog. (Love is a verb  in this sentence).
  • Love makes the world go around. (Love is an abstract noun  in this sentence).

Here's another example with the word "sleep":

  • I sleep eight hours each night. (Sleep is a verb  in this sentence).
  • Sleep is important for good health. (Sleep is an abstract noun  in this sentence).


Abstract nouns are often uncountable nouns but they can be either countable or uncountable (e.g., morning/mornings, situation/situations).


More examples of abstract nouns

Since abstract nouns are more difficult to identify than concrete nouns, here are a few more examples to help you better understand.

Abstract nouns showing emotions or feelings

happiness

anger

disappointment

disbelief

excitement

fascination

grief

love

hate

pain

pleasure

power

sadness

joy

worry

Abstract nouns about ideas and concepts

trust

compassion

confidence

courage

luck

leisure

security

situation

information

advice

permission

criticism

difficulty

reason

crime

adventure

belief

democracy

dictatorship

energy

faith

forgiveness

imagination

luxury

opinion

opportunity

success

Abstract nouns about attributes and states

honesty

intelligence

jealousy

patience

stupidity

wisdom

health

beauty

bravery

humor

curiosity

peace

unease

weakness

charity

failure

brilliance

genius

skill

dexterity

integrity

deceit

humility

arrogance

pain

misery

boredom

Abstract nouns about time

week

day

month

year

decade

morning

afternoon

evening

daytime

dawn

time

era

moment

occasion

minute

Hopefully this explanation has helped you to better understand the differences between abstract and concrete nouns.


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