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  1. #1
    jbone87 is offline Newbie
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    Default abstract and concrete nouns

    Arrange each of the sequences below in order, from the most abstract word to the most concrete word.

    a. housing complex, building, dining room, structure, apartment

    b. Mona Lisa, art, painting, creative activity, portrait

    c. Communication Department, college, educational institution, Stanford, school

    d. automobile, vehicle, Ferrari, transportation, sports car







    They all seem concrete to me! What am I not getting?

  2. #2
    jlinger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: abstract and concrete nouns

    I believe they are trying to get you to look at the full meaning of each word. One in each category has a definition that would include every other word. Another would include every remaining word, in a more tight or restricted (or "concrete") definition.

    For example, in the first set
    housing complex, building, dining room, structure, apartment
    look at each word/phrase and ask, if I said that word, would it/could it include everything else in the list. It's difficult to explain, but maybe this will help:

    A structure may be any of the other things. Write it first, and now look at the remaining words:
    A building may be any of the remainng things. Write it next, and look at the remaining.
    Work your way down the list. Or look at it this way: A housing complex would probably include an apartment which would probably include a dining room.

    Yes, you could say a housing complex would include a building - but a building wouldn't likely include a housing complex, would it?

    Clearly, the most "general" or "abstract" term is "structure" and the most narrowly defined, or "concrete" term is "dining room."

    Does that help?

    Can you work out the other lists, now?

  3. #3
    pyoung is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: abstract and concrete nouns

    Dear jlinger:

    What a wonderfully clear and thorough answer! Hats off to you!



    Petra

  4. #4
    jlinger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: abstract and concrete nouns

    How very kind of you to say that, Petra. Thank you.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: abstract and concrete nouns

    Let me add my plaudits. I could see that some were more abstract than others, but I didn't notice the fact that it was getting at what is sometimes called "the ladder of abstraction" - jbone87: that phrase might be worth Googling.

    b

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