Nouns and Their Meaning - 07

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Nouns and Their Meanings.


Sometimes we divide nouns into two classes only, Concrete Nouns and Abstract Nouns.

1. Concrete nouns are the names of things, substances, beings or places.
Concrete nouns can be perceived by both senses and the mind.

E.g. Whatever you see.

2. Abstract nouns are the names of qualities or states or relations of things, substances, beings or places.
Abstract nouns can ONLY be perceived by the mind.

E.g. Whatever you think. Concepts / feelings ...

If we see a big rock we may think of its hardness or its weight; if we see a cow, we may think of its advantage or its use; of the softness of its skin or the sharpness of its horns.

Such Abstract Nouns are rarely used with Indefinite Articles or in the plural.

Sometimes we go back again from abstract notions to concrete things, that is, some abstract nouns are used as concrete nouns. In this case they can be used with definite articles, and are used in the plural. 

Abstract - He was accused of offering a bribe to the ticket-collector.
Concrete - She laid her offering on the altar.

Abstract - Living is becoming dearer.
Concrete - He makes a good living out of photography.

Abstract. Her kindness has made her many friends.
Concrete - She did me many a kindness.

Abstract - We had no idea you were there.
Concrete - That’s a good idea.

Find some more examples.

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