Abstract noun is a noun which names a quality, action, or a state of person, place or a thing.
Based on the definition, an abstract noun is a word that expresses feelings or attributes that we cannot perceive through our senses.
In other words, it is something that we cannot see, touch, smell, taste, or hear. We can only feel it.
I strongly recommend you to go and read my article on the noun.
- Examples of quality
- Kindness, darkness, honesty, loyalty, stupidity, wisdom, bravery, maturity, aggression, passion, compassion, success, failure, fun, talent, beauty, cuteness, fidelity, faithfulness
- Examples of action
- Theft, hatred, laughter, judgement, movement, retirement
- Examples of state
- Manhood, boyhood, slavery, childhood, youth, poverty, sleep, death
- Examples of subjects
- Grammar, chemistry, physics, mathematics, grammar, biology
- Note: The books of these subjects are not abstract nouns. Only the subjects are abstract nouns.
- Examples of philosophical concepts
- Creativity, communalism, democracy, capitalism, essence, excellence, eupraxis, infinity, injustice
- Here is a list of all the philosophical concepts.
How to identify an abstract nouns
The best way to identify an abstract noun is by asking this question: “Can we touch, taste, feel, hear, or smell?”
If the answer is yes, than the word is not an abstract noun.
For example, boy is a common noun and not an abstract noun. This is because we can see a boy, and touch the boy.
But boyhood is an abstract noun. Boyhood is a quality that we know exist, but we can’t see, touch, taste or hear.
Examples of abstract nouns in sentence
- Honesty is the best policy.
- We should always speak truth.
- The Indian army has great strength.
- Napoleon was famous for his bravery.
- John is famous for his wisdom.
- Stacy is not known for her humor.
- Cleanliness is often claimed to be next to godliness.
- The class is studying physics.
- Good health always brings happiness.
- It is hard to choose between wisdom and strength.
Explanation of examples
All the words that are underlined in the above sentences are abstract nouns. These are qualities that we know exist but we can’t feel them through our senses.
In example number 4, there are 2 nouns: John and wisdom. John is the name of a particular person and hence it’s a proper noun. Wisdom is a quality possessed by John. We can’t see, touch, taste or hear wisdom. We can only feel it and hence wisdom is an abstract noun.
How are abstract nouns formed
- Most of the abstract nouns are formed from adjectives
- Example: Intelligence from intelligent, bravery from brave
- Some are also formed from verbs
- Example: Allowance from allow, growth from grow
- Some are also formed from nouns
- Example: Slavery from slave
Practice exercise 1
Identify abstract nouns in following sentences.
- John Doe was awarded for his bravery.
- Jane Doe is a perfect example of beauty with brains.
- Intelligence is hard to measure.
- Wisdom comes with age and experience.
- Charity begins at home.
- Confidence is what you need the most to succeed in life.
- The ill and elderly people should be treated with compassion.
- Dedication and determination are two things that are required to achieve any goal.
- We should aim to eliminate hatred residing in our hearts.
- Humor is not about laughing at people.
- Kindness towards the unfortunate ones is the way of life.
- There is no other alternative to perseverance.
- Anger is man’s biggest enemy.
- The outcome of today’s race was a complete disappointment.
- The news about his friend’s demise left him in grief.
- The pain of losing a friend is hard to describe.
- With great power comes great responsibility.
- The ability to be truthful even under unfavorable circumstances is a skill not possessed by many.
- We should respect the freedom that we enjoy.
- Imagination is the biggest motivation for innovation.
- Inflation is causing the price of essential commodities to go up.
- You don’t have to exhibit your patriotism everywhere.
- Parenthood comes with responsibilities.
- We should help those who suffer from poverty.
- The two neighboring countries opened their borders in time of peace.
Abstract nouns in quotes
Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.– Spencer Johnson
“Compassion isn’t about solutions. It’s about giving all the love that you’ve got.”— Cheryl Strayed
Frequently Asked Questions
Abstract noun of strong
Example 1: Strength is rare to find in weak individuals.
Example 2: It took all his strength to shovel the snow.
Abstract noun of wise
Example 1: Solomon was famous for his wisdom.
Example 2: Jane’s wisdom enables her to make all the right choices.
Abstract noun of cruel
Example 1: Aggression is a form of cruelty.
Example 2: The cruelty of this oppressive regime is against humanity.
Abstract noun of beautiful
Example 1: Helen of Troy was famous for her beauty.
Example 2: Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Abstract noun of laugh
Example 1: Laughter is the best medicine.
Example 2: Laughter is infectious.
Abstract noun of true
Example 1: Truth is a virtue that is hard to find in people these days.
Example 2: The truth is that he did not commit this crime.
Abstract noun of friend
Example 1: True friendship is biggest wealth.
Example 2: I support him only because of our friendship.
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