A noun is one of the eight parts of speech that are fundamental to learning English. In previous quizzes we were able to classify nouns into different types. We learnt that nouns can be classified as common nouns, proper nouns or compound nouns. In this quiz we will turn our attention to two types of nouns - namely, concrete nouns and abstract nouns.
Concrete nouns are nouns that can be felt by the five senses of sound, sight, touch, smell and taste. Concrete nouns are the largest group of nouns in the English language. They encompass all humans, animals, birds, plants, places and objects. We can use our senses to enjoy the different attributes displayed by concrete nouns.
Concrete nouns can come under other classes of nouns. For instance, while a building is a concrete noun, it is also a common noun. The Empire State Building is a proper noun as well as a concrete noun. Concrete nouns can also be countable nouns or uncountable nouns. An example of a countable noun would be BIRD as we can talk about FOUR BIRDS. An example of an uncountable noun would be RICE as we cannot say FOUR RICES. Concrete nouns can also be collective nouns such as PEOPLE.
While concrete nouns are something which we can feel with our senses how do we classify words describing emotions or feelings? The answer is abstract nouns. Abstract nouns classify emotions, feelings and characteristics such as childhood, courage, pride and honesty. FEAR is an abstract noun and so are WISDOM and STUPIDITY. Other abstract noun examples are HAPPINESS and MISERY. We can see why these nouns are termed as abstract nouns. We cannot experience the attributes of the abstract nouns through our senses. We experience them through means other than the five senses and hence they are abstract.
The quiz that follows helps you to identify concrete and abstract nouns, which you can then add to your vocabulary.