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Abstract Noun:

The word abstract means intangible. Literal meaning of abstract is something that has no physical form or something that is just an idea. So abstract nouns are those which exist in our thoughts or are beyond our five senses. You cannot touch, see, hear, smell or taste them. They include ideas, thoughts, opinions, feelings, qualities, states of life and experiences. They are always considered as singular and so have no plural forms


Examples of Abstract Nouns

We have never seen or touched love, information, bravery, or any of the above nouns. We have just felt and experienced them. They do not have a definite form.

Ø How to recognize an Abstract Noun

Some words can either be an abstract noun or can be verbs in a sentence. Thus, it is a bit tricky to recognize abstract nouns in a sentence. And it is important to distinguish between them in order apply correct grammatical rules. Let us look as some examples of some such words for better understanding.


  • I dislike him because of his rude attitude. (here someone is doing the action of dislike. Thus, it is a verb in this sentence.)
  • Her strong dislike of socializing made it difficult for her to make friends. (here dislike is a thing or object possessed by someone which is abstract in nature. Thus, it as an abstract noun in this sentence.)

  • Our company progressed over years. (here verb of progress is happening.)
  • His rivals are jealous of the huge progress he made in last few years. (here jealous is the verb or actions taking place and progress is an object or noun.)

  • My mother advised me to save for my future. (here advised is a verb done by mother. Also pay attention to the spelling of advise as verb and as noun.)
  • My advice for you would be to accept the truth. (advice with a C is a noun. Here advice is an object.)

Ø Names of Subjects, Science and Arts are also abstract nouns

Names of Subjects and Art forms like grammar, mathematics, music, poetry, biology, astrology, karate, physics, ecology, etc. are abstract nouns. These are out of our five sense. You cannot see, touch, smell, taste or hear them. These are abstract in nature.

Ø Formation of Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns are usually formed adding certain suffix at the end of adjectives, verbs or common nouns. The commonly added suffix are –ness, -hood, -tion, -ship, -ty, -age, -acy, -ence, -ment, etc.

  • From Adjectives:

Modest  –  Modesty

Mad  –  Madness

Beautiful  –  Beauty

Good  –  Goodness

Intelligent  –  Intelligence

Arrogant  –  Arrogance

Lazy  –  Laziness

  • From Verbs:

Grow  –  Growth

Educate  –  Education

Relax  –  Relaxation

Dedicate  –  Dedication

Disappoint  –  Disappointment

Satisfy  –  Satisfaction

Believe  –  Belief

  • From Common Nouns:

True  –  Truth

Friend  –  Friendship

Boy  – Boyhood

Slave  –  Slavery

Brother  –  Brotherhood

Infant  –  Infancy

Owner  –  Ownership

Ø Abstract Nouns are uncountable and hence have no plural form

Love, Hate, Kindness, Honesty, Anger, Sadness, Childhood, Peace are out of count or measure and hence are uncountable. And we know that uncountable nouns have no plural form.

There exist no words like kindnesses, modesties, angers, knowledges or happinesses.

But yes, there exist words like loves, hates, dislikes, desires, etc. But these are not abstract nouns. These are first form of verbs, verbs used in present tense for singular subject.


  • His loves for his siblings is undeniable. (INCORRECT)

(here love is an abstract noun and cannot have plural form.)


  • His love for his siblings is undeniable. (CORRECT)

(here love is an abstract noun.)


  • He loves his siblings. (CORRECT)

(here loves is a verb of present tense.)



  • Their desires for a luxurious life has come true. (INCORRECT)

(here desire is an abstract noun and cannot have plural form.)


  • Their desire for a luxurious life has come true. (CORRECT)

(here desire is an abstract noun.)


  • He desires for a luxurious life. (CORRECT)

(here desires is a verb of present tense.)

There are a few exceptions to this rule:

There are certain abstract nouns which have plural form.


Ø Abstract Nouns vs Concrete Nouns

Abstract nouns are always considered contrast of Concrete nouns. So, let us see the differences between them.

Abstract nouns are formless. They have no definite physical form. These are beyond our five senses. No one has ever seen love, satisfaction, progress, wisdom, weakness, affection, or courage. But we all have felt and observed them.

On the contrary, Concrete nouns are those which have a definite form and shape. These can be seen, touched, heard, or tasted. We all see a definite figure in our minds when we hear words like car, tree, table, book, men, teacher, flower, or house.

Thus, concrete nouns are opposite of abstract nouns.


  • Abstract Nouns are formless. We cannot see or touch them.
  • Our five senses cannot detect abstract nouns.
  • These are feelings, emotions, opinions, ideas and states.
  • Names of subjects, art forms and concepts are also abstract nouns.
  • They are formed by adding various suffix to an adjective, verb or common noun.
  • They are usually uncountable and have no plural form.
  • They are opposites of concrete nouns.
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