Abstract Nouns

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Abstract Noun Types, Uses, Exercises & More (1)

Nouns are one of the most important components of English grammar. Nouns are words that take up the form of a specific object or set of objects such as living creatures, places, states of existence, or ideas. Abstract nouns are a type of nouns which represent intangible ideas such as love, time, beauty, These things are abstract nouns because you can’t touch them or see them. Understanding abstract nouns will help you prepare for English for bank, government & competitive exams. This blog brings to you a detailed guide on what abstract nouns are, their usage and example along with practice exercises. 

What are Abstract Nouns?

Abstract means existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence. An abstract noun is a noun that denotes intangible things like ideas, emotions, personality traits, a state of mind or quality. It describes things you can’t perceive with the five main senses. Example: love, hunger, freedom, patience, luck, beauty, bravery, etc.

Credits: Periwinkle

Examples of Abstract Nouns:

  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
  • Anger can ruin many good things.
Abstract Noun
Credits: Pinterest

Also Read: Common Noun

Abstract Nouns vs. Concrete Nouns

It refer to nouns that cannot be seen, heard, smelled, or touched whereas concrete nouns refer to tangible things which can be seen, heard, smelled or touched. For example, luck is an abstract noun whereas chair is a concrete noun. A chair is visible and can be touched whereas love cannot be touched.

Examples:

  • Billionaire Jeff Bezos is famous for his wealth (abstract)
  • Next week, we are going to Paris. (concrete)
  • They said he was possessed by a ghost. (concrete)
  • We heard shouting from next door. (concrete)
  • Her blindness didn’t stop her from being successful. (abstract)

Abstract Nouns Usage and Examples

It basically follow the same rules as all nouns. They can be singular or plural, can be subjects or objects in a sentence, can take up possessive form and also some abstract nouns are required to be capitalised.

  • Ideas and Concepts:  life, death, humor, independence, communication, information, honor, trust, pain, pleasure, charity, deceit, opportunity, comfort, democracy, Marxism 
  • Emotions and Feelings: anxiety, fear, pleasure, stress, sympathy,  happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, disgust, joy, hope
  • State and Attributes: being, freedom, misery, chaos, luxury, childhood, salvery, career, marriage, determination, optimism, confusion, troubled
  • Quality/Personality Traits: courage, patience, determination, generosity, honesty, kindness, beauty, bravery, honesty
  • Beliefs: Christianity, Islam, Cubism
  • Movements and Events: activism, commencement, future, moment, performance, progress

Also Read: Proper Nouns

How to Identify Abstract Nouns

The easiest rule to identify abstract nouns is you have to think about whether the noun can be perceived by the five senses. If not, then those are abstract nouns. However, sometimes students confuse abstract nouns with adjectives and verbs. Let’s understand the difference between them.

Abstract Nouns vs Verbs

Verbs describe actions whereas when a word represents a person, place, thing, concept or idea, it is a noun. If it can’t be directly perceived by the senses, then it is an abstract noun. The same word can function as a verb as well as an abstract noun.

Examples:

  • I love the painting.
  • She sends her love.

In the first sentence, the word ‘love’ functions as a verb as it describes the action of loving the painting. In the second sentence, love is an abstract noun as it cannot be perceived.

Formation of Abstract Nouns using Suffixes

These nouns can be made from verbs, adjectives and other nouns by adding suffixes. The commonly added suffixes are –ness, -hood, -tion, -ship, -ty, -age, -acy, -ence, -ment, etc. 

Examples

From Verbs

  • Grow  –  Growth
  • Agree –  Agreement
  • Educate  –  Education
  • Relax  –  Relaxation
  • Dedicate  –  Dedication
  • Disappoint  –  Disappointment
  • Satisfy  –  Satisfaction
  • Believe  –  Belief

From Adjectives 

  • Beautiful  –  Beauty
  • Good  –  Goodness
  • Intelligent  –  Intelligence
  • Arrogant  –  Arrogance
  • Lazy  –  Laziness
  • Painful – Pain
  • Poor – Poverty
  • Young – Youth

From Nouns

  • True  –  Truth
  • Friend  –  Friendship
  • Child – Childhood
  • Slave  –  Slavery
  • Infant  –  Infancy
  • Owner  –  Ownership

Exercises

Exercise 1

Read the sentences below and bold the Concrete Nouns and Abstract Nouns.

  1. I felt pain when the dentist took my tooth out.
  2. I fell in love with that little child.
  3. After dinner, Holly went out for a walk.
  4. My mom will pick me time from school every Monday.
  5. The puppy jumped on the table and ate cake.
  6. Sarah’s childhood was traumatic.
  7. I have full trust in my child’s nanny.
  8. She is potting plants in the garden.
  9. That child is very intelligent.
  10. He is a loyal friend.

Answers:

  1. I felt pain when the dentist took my tooth out.
  2. I fell in love with that little child.
  3. After dinner, Holly went out for a walk.
  4. My mom will pick me time from school every Monday.
  5. Puppy jumped on the table and ate cake.
  6. Sarah’s childhood was traumatic.
  7. I have full trust in my child’s nanny.
  8. She is potting plants in the garden.
  9. That child is very intelligent.
  10. He is a loyal friend.

Exercise 2

Make the abstract noun from the following words.

  1. Stupid
  2. Agent 
  3. Peculiar
  4. Luxurious
  5. King 
  6. Jealous
  7. Humble
  8. Coward
  9. Warm
  10. chaotic

Answers:

  1. Stupidity
  2. Agency
  3. Peculiarity 
  4. Luxury
  5. Kingdom
  6. Jealousy
  7. Humility
  8. Cowardice
  9. Warmth
  10. Chaos

Exercise 3

Fill in the blanks with suitable abstract nouns.

  1. His employees were awarded for their ……….. (brave)
  2. He is a man of ……………………… (strong)
  3. There is no end to his ……………………….. (wicked)
  4. ……………. is the best period of one’s life. (child)
  5. ………….. is said to be godliness. (clean)

Answers:

  1. Bravery
  2. Strength 
  3. Wickedness
  4. Childhood
  5. Cleanliness

We hope this blog has helped you to understand everything related to Abstract Nouns. Preparing for English proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL? Our Leverage Live mentors are here to provide you with the best preparation guidance to achieve your dream score! Sign up for a free demo session with Leverage Edu now!

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