You’re probably aware that a noun is a word that refers to a place, person, or thing; it’s a grammar concept that we learn in elementary school. And, of course, there are several categories of nouns that we use to suggest everything we encounter in our lives: We make new acquaintances. We consume food. We’re heading to the store. The people and physical objects with whom we interact are referred to by these nouns.

But what about those things that we can’t see or feel? Love, victory, and alliance aren’t they also nouns? Yes, they are, and there is a term for them that you may not recall from your elementary school days: the abstract noun. Let’s look at them here.

What is an Abstract Noun?

“A noun denoting something formless and abstract,” defines it. Another common interpretation of them is that they refer to things that are not visible to the naked eye. They cannot be seen, tasted, heard, smelled, or touched. Intangible things that do not exist as material objects are suggested as abstract nouns.

Also Read: What is Communication? Why is it Important? Let’s Learn Communication Skills for Perfection!

Abstract Nouns Definition and Meaning

They denote intangible concepts—things that aren’t visible with the five senses. Because you can’t touch or see abstract nouns like beauty, love, time, and science, they’re all abstract nouns.

Things are represented by nouns in general (including objects, places, people, and ideas). But there are some things that aren’t really things! Because personality traits, ideas, emotions, and philosophical concepts do not exist in the physical world and cannot be sensed or interacted with, we refer to them.

Abstract Noun Examples

They, unlike most other nouns, do not refer to places or people. People and places, after all, are real things that exist in our world. Even fictional characters and places, such as Valhalla and Godzilla, are not abstract nouns, according to this logic, because they would have a physical form if they were real.

As a result, all of them are referred to as “things.” However, keep in mind that they only refer to intangible objects like philosophies, emotions, ideas, and concepts. Let’s get out of the abstract and look at some concrete examples to better understand them.

Emotions

Even though we say we “feel” emotions all the time, we don’t mean it literally. Happiness or anger are “felt” as thoughts in your mind or activity in your brain and body. You can’t eat a plate of sadness or hold happiness in your hand. People and animals can show their emotions through their actions, but emotions are not tangible. As a result, we use abstract nouns to refer to them.

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

Ideas

They are also used to refer to other ideas and concepts, in addition to emotions. These abstract nouns give names to complicated topics and provide a glimpse into a large part of what makes us human—our big, wrinkly brains! While the majority of them are common nouns, referring to broad concepts, they can also be proper nouns, such as Hinduism.

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

Also Read: Who Needs Presentation Skills training? Effective Ways to Improve Your Presentation Skills

List of Abstract Nouns A-H

Ability

Adoration

Advantage

Adventure

Amazement

Anger

Annoyance

Anxiety

Appetite

Apprehension

Argument

Artistry

Awareness

Awe

Beauty

Belief

Bravery

Brilliance

Brutality

Calm

Care

Chaos

Charity

Childhood

Clarity

Cleverness

Coldness

Comfort

Communication

Company

Compassion

Confidence

Confusion

Contentment

Courage

Crime

Curiosity

Death

Deceit

Dedication

Defeat

Delay

Delight

Despair

Determination

Dexterity

Dictatorship

Disappointment

Disbelief

Dishonesty

Disquiet

Disregard

Disturbance

Divorce

Dream

Education

Ego

Elegance

Envy

Evil

Fact

Failure

Fashion

Fear

Fiction

Fragility

Frailty

Freedom

Friendship

Gain

Generation

Generosity

Goal

Goodness

Gossip

Growth

Happiness

Hatred

Honesty

Horror

I-W

Idea

Infancy

Infatuation

Inflation

Insanity

Intelligence

Irritation

Joy

Justice

Kindness

Laughter

Law

Liberty

Lie

Life

Loneliness

Loss

Love

Luck

Luxury

Marriage

Mercy

Movement

Nap

Pain

Patience

Peace

Peculiarity

Perseverance

Philosophy

Pleasure

Poverty

Power

Pride

Principle

Reality

Relaxation

Relief

Religion

Restoration

Rhythm

Riches

Right

Rumour

Sacrifice

Sanity

Satisfaction

Self-control

Sensitivity

Service

Shock

Silliness

Skill

Slavery

Sleep

Solitude

Sorrow

Speed

Strength

Strictness

Stupidity

Success

Surprise

Talent

Thought

Thrill

Timing

Tiredness

Tolerance

Trend

Trust

Truth

Uncertainty

Unemployment

Union

Unreality

Victory

Wariness

Warmth

Weakness

Wealth

Weariness

Wisdom

Wit

Worry

Abstract Nouns Examples

The word cat, for example, refers to a cute animal. A cat can be seen and touched. The word cat is not a noun that can be abstracted. The term luck, on the other hand, refers to a complex idea about the likelihood of good or bad things happening to someone. There is no such thing as luck as a physical object; you can’t eat it or buy it in a store. Because it refers to an intangible concept rather than a physical object that we can experience with our senses, luck is an example.

Also Read: Interjection in English Grammar: Let’s Discuss Some Rules and Usage in Daily Life

Abstract Noun Usage

They are frequently used to express an emotion or a concept. These, like any other noun in English grammar, can be subjects and objects.

Happiness, fear, disgust, sadness, and anger are examples of them that describe emotions.

Freedom, love, Stoicism, government, community, youth, and Cubism are examples of them that can be used to describe intangible concepts or ideas. These intangible concepts, which people can sense and experience, frequently bring people together in conversation.

How to Use Them as Subjects and Objects?

Subjects: You can use them as the subject of a sentence just like any other nouns. The word “honesty” serves as the subject in the sentence “Honesty is the best policy.”

Objects: “The cricket team never loses faith,” for example. The word “faith” is the direct object of the sentence.

Forming Abstract Nouns with Suffixes

By taking the root word and adding a suffix, you can often create them from verbs, adjectives, and also concrete nouns. This is an excellent way to discuss a general concept rather than specific examples.

Take the verb relax for example. To make them relax, add the suffix -ation to describe the general state of relaxing. The suffix -ness is added to the adjective good to create the abstract noun goodness. To make the word friendship, the concrete noun friend requires -ship.

You can’t just mix and match suffixes because specific words use specific suffixes. If you’re not sure what suffix to use, look it up in a dictionary. Keep in mind that some words completely change when they become abstract. The word for a weak person is weakness, whereas a strong person’s abstract noun is strength.

When to Use Them and When to Not

They are at home in existential, philosophical, and ideological discussions—difficult to talk about these topics without them. Similarly, when discussing emotions and feelings, they are frequently used, especially when feelings are constant or ongoing.

The problem with them is that they are often ambiguous. Because we can’t see them, everyone has their own interpretation of what they are. The word beauty is interpreted differently by each “beholder,” just as “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Also Read: Direct and Indirect Speech: Get to Know the Rules and Application with Examples

Abstract Nouns vs Concrete Nouns

Concrete nouns are any person, place, or thing that you can identify with your five senses in the English language. It could be something as simple as “chair” or “apple,” or something as formal as “Secretary of State.” It is a proper noun that is the name of a person or a place. The physical thing you can touch, see, hear, taste, or smell.

Abstract nouns, in contrast to concrete, name things that you can’t identify with your five senses. This category includes ideologies, emotions, and concepts. Religion, for example, is something that people do, but its noun form is intangible, making it an abstract concept.

Difference

It can be difficult to understand what they are. While abstract refers to intangible things without a physical form, concrete nouns refer to places, people, and things that do have a physical form. Concrete, can be felt with the five senses: they can have a physical form rather than an image in your mind’s eye of katniss. A pineapple is edible. A tree can be seen. An engine can be heard. Socks have a distinct odour. A lamp can be touched.

Examples

Look at the sentences below and try to find out the two types.

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.

Conclusion

As a result, good writing frequently includes concrete examples interspersed among your abstract nouns to ground the discussion in reality. Concrete examples help readers understand our points and encourage them to see things our way rather than their own.

It can be difficult to comprehend abstract nouns and their rules. Hopefully, after reading the article, you have a better understanding of them and are well on your way to writing about them.

Also Read: English Stories to Improve English Speaking: Learn English Quickly and Steadily