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  1. #1
    JMo Guest

    Default Abstractions Abound!

    I understand that abstract nouns need not be detected by all five senses. That said, since music (only heard) is abstract, would light & air - since they do not appear to have many concrete qualities - also be abstract?

    Also, is there an official website with substantial or comprehensive word lists to address questions like mine? I have found several sites with definitions and a few examples, but no good lists as of yet. Please advise - thanks!

  2. #2
    Fizi is offline Member
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    Default Re: Abstractions Abound!

    I understand that abstract nouns need not be detected by all five senses. That said, since music (only heard) is abstract, would light & air - since they do not appear to have many concrete qualities - also be abstract?

    Also, is there an official website with substantial or comprehensive word lists to address questions like mine? I have found several sites with definitions and a few examples, but no good lists as of yet. Please advise - thanks!
    From what I've read, it seems that an abstract noun cannot be detected by any of the five senses. So if it's detectable by just one sense, it's not abstract. Since music can be heard, air can be felt, and light can be seen, I would say none of them are abstract nouns.

  3. #3
    hobbes is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Abstractions Abound!

    Since music can be heard, air can be felt, and light can be seen
    sound can be heard, but music is not a physical form so is abstract. The others though do have a physical form of sorts.

    Here are a few to get you going:

    friendship peace infatuation romance humor
    hate liberty love charity hope consternation
    faith bravery comfort talent memory
    childhood maturity success failure law
    adoration feelings humor happiness sadness
    loyalty joy strictness belief pride apprehension
    honesty truth sanity sympathy redemption
    principle thrill wit ego power indignation
    skill dexterity artistry sleep compassion
    calm impression sensitivity omen submission

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Abstractions Abound!

    It's always been my understanding that concrete nouns are things you can touch, and hence the word "concrete".

    Are there exceptions?

  5. #5
    hobbes is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Abstractions Abound!

    hmmm...good one.

    The first thing that popped into my head, so I could, and probably will be wrong. Although it's cheating a bit as it's a noun and an adjective is:

    COLD -

    in the phrase "He was out in the cold"

    The word cold (adjective) by itself describes the temperature of the surroundings - but is not the surroundings, these are ice, snow, wind etc. But grouped together to form an environment these components become 'the cold'. (noun)

    By previous definitions, including the ESL one, "(A concrete noun refers to objects and substances, including people and animals, that exist physically).you cannot touch 'the cold', although it is thought of as being able to physically interact with it. (not a concrete noun?) but you can touch the components that make it up.

    Thoughts? Or have I lost the plot?!?
    Last edited by hobbes; 31-Oct-2005 at 10:44.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Abstractions Abound!

    Za plot thickens.
    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes
    "He was out in the cold"
    Agreed, "(the) cold" functions as a substantive noun in that context. It's synonymous with outdoors, where it's cold. I dare say, though, that "outdoors" is a concrete noun, but . . . and let's assume for the moment it is, if it were a concrete noun it would be by association only. That is, the things it's made up of are concrete; e.g., trees, bushes, land, etc. But "outdoors" is not a concrete noun, so neither is "(the) cold".

    Still looking for exceptions. . .

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