Linguistic Terms

abstract nouns

Abstract nouns?

Abstract nouns are those nouns that refer to things that cannot be perceived with the senses  but are created and understood by thought or imagination. For example: justice , hunger , health , truth .

Abstract nouns, then, refer to ideas or feelings that correspond to notions or concepts that inhabit our thoughts and often have to do with imagination.

The concrete nouns differ from the abstract to have a tangible character is perceived by the senses. For example: house, car, table.

Although this does not seem to be a too rigorous differentiation, school texts maintain the tradition of defining nouns that can be captured by some of the senses that human beings have as concrete, and of calling abstracts those that are conceived through processes Cognitive as imagination, emotion or thought.

Examples of abstract nouns

beauty skepticism nostalgia
Justice hope temptation
nation spirituality infinite
poverty hungry arrogance
gluttony honesty fellowship
terror imagination faith
resentment obsession sweetness
sweetie passion bitterness
true peace war
anxiety sloth Rage
creativity poverty sound
hope purity hobby
vitality respect lust
religion Health wealth
passion loneliness hardness
cunning piety rudeness
bliss evil summer
ugliness fear fall
virtue Justice winter
honesty injustice spring
intelligence ingenuity abundance
thought go to shortage
reasoning power contradiction
abuse Health diversity
affected solidarity biodiversity
joy resentment movement
ambition temperance acceptance
love fear performance
friendship terror anxiety
hate weather nobility
pain drama wisdom
sweetie true serenity
certainty luck revenge
charisma virtue tenderness
happy courage responsibility
happiness idiocy nation
belief childhood homeland
wish lie ceremony
dogma science ritual
avarice soul greenery
empathy quality fatness
ego greed height
yearning admiration esteem

How do abstract nouns arise?

These nouns are formed, in some cases from adding a suffix to a verb, an adjective or a noun: suffixes – ty  and – ency  indicate “quality of” when added to an adjective. Thus, we have the abstract noun generosity (the quality of being generous), freedom (quality of being free) and depth (quality of being deep).

As for the derivatives of verbs , the suffix that is usually added is : imagination comes from imagining, just as  education comes from educating.

However, many other abstract nouns have no suffix or come from another word: such is the case of fear , love , pain , courage , faith and calm , forgiveness .

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