Grammar What Is a Concrete Noun? |
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What Is a Concrete Noun?

Have you ever heard of a concrete noun? Right away we’ll establish that it isn’t a noun that weighs more than others—rather, it is a division of nouns. Being familiar with concrete nouns can help you further improve your grammar and your communicative skills.

In this quick post, we’ll discuss what a concrete noun is, explain what makes it different from an abstract noun, and provide a few examples.

What Are Concrete Nouns?

As you examine sentences from a grammatical point of view, there are two types of nouns to be aware of. The first is a concrete noun, which is an object that can be perceived with the senses (sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste).

An abstract noun, on the other hand, is one that can’t be identified by its physical or sensory properties.

At first this might seem complex. However, a few examples should easily reinforce the distinction. Consider the following sentence:

The flower was a vivid orange.

In this sentence, the noun (flower) is one that can be seen, touched, and smelled. That makes it a concrete noun. Now consider this sentence:

The key sits on the counter.

This sentence has two concrete nouns, key and counter. Both are items you can see and touch (you might not be inclined to try to hear, smell, or taste them).

Finally, let’s look at a third example:

Integrity is hard to find.

The word integrity is a noun in this sentence, but it isn’t something that can be thought of as having physical or sensory qualities. You can’t touch, hear, taste, smell, or see integrity, but you can understand it as a concept. That makes it an abstract noun.

Simply put, anything that isn’t a concrete noun will be an abstract one. You can either sense the noun according to its characteristics (concrete) or you can conceive of what the word means despite its lack of physical properties (abstract).

You should now be able to recognize a concrete noun. Test your knowledge below!

Pop Quiz

Identify whether the nouns in the following sentences are concrete or abstract.

1. The phone keeps ringing.

2. Arrogance isn’t attractive.

3. Coffee makes me happy.

4. Good health is a personal wealth.

5. I need a tuner for my guitar.


Pop Quiz Answers

1. The phone keeps ringing. concrete noun

2. Arrogance isn’t attractive. abstract noun

3. Coffee makes me happy. concrete noun

4. Good health is a personal wealth. abstract noun (both)

5. I need a tuner for my guitar. concrete noun (both)

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