Concrete nouns and abstract nouns  

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"Dom, head or hood, ship, ness, ity, tude, and th, how different soever in appearance, are, in signification, nearly the same; they are all used in forming what are called abstract nouns; they are generally added to adjectives, and express that kind of idea which the mind is capable of forming, of qualities in a separate, or, as it" --The English Master, William Banks, 1823

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Concrete nouns refer to physical entities that can, in principle at least, be observed by at least one of the senses (for instance, chair, apple, Janet or atom). Abstract nouns, on the other hand, refer to abstract objects; that is, ideas or concepts (such as justice or hatred). While this distinction is sometimes exclusive, some nouns have multiple senses, including both concrete and abstract ones; consider, for example, the noun art, which usually refers to a concept (e.g., Art is an important element of human culture) but which can refer to a specific artwork in certain contexts (e.g., I put my daughter's art up on the fridge).

Some abstract nouns developed etymologically by figurative extension from literal roots. These include drawback, fraction, holdout, and uptake. Similarly, some nouns have both abstract and concrete senses, with the latter having developed by figurative extension from the former. These include view, filter, structure, and key.

In English, many abstract nouns are formed by adding noun-forming suffixes (-ness, -ity, -tion) to adjectives or verbs. Examples are happiness (from the adjective happy), circulation (from the verb circulate) and serenity (from the adjective serene).




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Concrete nouns and abstract nouns" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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