What are Concrete Nouns?
Concrete nouns signify things that are possible for us to observe, with the word “concrete” meaning having a physical form. Concrete nouns present things, people, places, and animals that our 5 physical senses can perceive. The 5 senses are sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
Let’s look at the following examples:
- Come try the chocolates I bought from the store today.
- He smoked a cigarette outside the restaurant.
- Didn’t you have your dining table customized?
- They want to stay in a nice hotel so this won’t do.
- I think there’s a dead animal here somewhere.
Stones, flowers, beaches, the Taj Mahal, Manchester United – all of these are concrete nouns. Even things that we can’t see but hear (like music or a scream), and things we can feel physically (like air or a punch). Concrete nouns can be classified into three groups:
- Living Things – plants, trees, people, even microscopic organisms.
- Places – all manner of locations.
- Materials – anything that can be perceived by our physical senses.
Concrete nouns are usually studied in contrast to abstract nouns. Abstract nouns represent nouns that are not perceived by the 5 physical senses. Nouns like time, beauty, health, love, and so on.
Concrete Nouns Rules
Study the table below for some rules for using concrete nouns:
|Basic Grammar||Concrete nouns follow the same rules that general nouns have such as subject-verb agreement and pluralization rules. They can turn into possessive nouns. For example:|
– I want my cousin’s toys.
– The book’s cover looks enticing.
– Where is Roxie’s car?
They can also form compound nouns. For example:
– Don’t leave crumbs on the kitchen floor.
– The old quarter is a popular shopping center.
– Which bus station should we go to?
|Collective Concrete Nouns||If the concrete noun is also a collective noun, it’s always treated as a singular noun unless pluralized. This means it uses a singular verb as well. For example:|
– The bouquet was intricately arranged.
– Our team wants to go to the beach.
– Does the committee release results early?
|Capitalization||If the concrete noun is a proper noun, the same rules on capitalization apply. For example:|
– I lived in South Korea for 6 months.
– They think they will live in Calabarzon for a while.
– My alma mater was St. Theresita’s Academy.
5 Types of Concrete Nouns Examples
Concrete nouns have extensive coverage. They include five other types of nouns. Here is a list of examples of concrete nouns in other classifications of nouns.
1. Common nouns
- What movie shall we watch today?
- Lisa has been trying to get a hold of Roger.
- Heavy snowfall made it impossible to drive.
- She doesn’t know why her dog barks around the clock.
- These hills are believed to be haunted.
2. Proper Nouns
- Maria is very patient with her students.
- We went to Palawan for my birthday.
- They were called the Lethal Five in college.
- I want to go with you to Hongkong.
- The Jade Palace is a well-known tourist spot.
3. Countable Nouns
- There are over 15 clinics in the county.
- Hang in there, we only have 2 days of shooting left.
- How many caves are located in the area?
- 30 tokens were given out to the attendees.
- A dozen women signed up for the tutorial.
4. Mass or Uncountable Nouns
- The town supplies timber to three major cities.
- Running has never been my strongest suit.
- Wasn’t Lianne the one who spread all the gossip?
- Our city needs a three-man team to do this research.
- Who has time for meditation in this day and age?
5. Collective Nouns
- I thought the crowd would be bigger.
- Their team listed the common factors affecting the project.
- The previous model was amenable to the crew.
- Previous studies confirm that a flock of birds was responsible.
- There are many shelter locations monitored by the group.
Concrete Nouns Exercises with Answers
Exercise on Concrete Nouns
Identify whether the underlined noun in each sentence is concrete or abstract:
1. There are warning signs everywhere so it’s strange that they went in anyway.
2. Joanna’s company is known for acts of charity in the community.
3. I used to get a lot of anxiety before a big performance but I’m better now.
4. Some hospitals in the lower regions are on strike today.
5. The police are in unmarked cars waiting for movement at the address.
6. Our professor said we will discuss native traditional dances all month.
7. Of course we’ve heard all the stories about the abandoned asylum.
8. Kyle feels a different kind of peace every time he goes scuba diving.
9. You would think that parenthood is easy, but it’s extremely difficult.
10. How many fingers is the clown holding up?
11. I really hope there aren’t a lot of children where we’re going. What? I can’t stand them!
12. Samantha enjoys watching airplanes take off and land on the runway.
13. It was my wish for you to witness the greatest impromptu performance of all time.
14. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the industry now.
15. They live in a very charming community of tiny houses off Highway 190.
16. It’s probably the highest-grossing model in the past two decades, after inflation.
17. Mugi works for a company that creates dentures and other dental products.
18. This project needs someone with knowledge of paper and engineering.
19. You might be in the wrong line of work if you think justice exists here.
20. That part of town is riddled with the remnants of temples from centuries ago.
1. signs: concrete
2. charity: abstract
3. anxiety: abstract
4. hospitals: concrete
5. movement: abstract
6. dances: concrete
7. stories: concrete
8. peace: abstract
9. parenthood: abstract
10. fingers: concrete
11. children: concrete
12. airplanes: concrete
13. wish: abstract
14: reality: abstract
15: Highway 190: concrete
16. inflation: abstract
17. dentures: concrete
18. knowledge: abstract
19. justice: abstract
20. temples: concrete
Concrete Nouns List
Below is a list of concrete nouns classified by different functions:
|Common||subjects, perfume, movie, cluster, teacher, factor, car, tablet, desk, lamp|
|Proper||Billie Eilish, the Appalachian Mountains, Nirvana, Samsung, St. Peters, Marvel, Superman, LillyPad.ai, Adidas, China|
|Countable||objects, categories, features, locations, flowers, lockers, cafes, school, cinemas, coins|
|Mass||happiness, Japanese, English, physics, baggage, evidence, gossip, laughter, machinery, cash|
|Collective||crew, team, flock, nest, horde, collection, bunch, group, family, swarm|
|Compound||laundry basket, semantic feature, dominant factor, abstract concept, social interaction, count noun, baseline model, lexical categories, literary studies|
Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners
Generally, nouns are thought of as the chief part of speech in the English language. After all, they’re the names of everything in existence. But due to their extensive volume, being proficient with nouns can be quite a challenge. It’s a good thing that there are several things that can make language learning less difficult, not only with nouns but all the other grammar concepts in English as well. Consider the following advice to help you achieve your goals in English language learning.
1. Use Grammar Lists
There are fewer grammar tools that can function as effectively as lists, tables, charts, and diagrams. These tools are valuable in introducing grammar concepts and breaking them down into simplified segments. They can make topics much easier to grasp and almost always contain real-world sentence examples that are great for the acquisition of new workable vocabulary and the construction of sentences. The challenge is picking the ones that work for you. If you can’t find any, you can make your own and customize it according to your own study habits and preferences.
2. Use Audio-Visual Resources
Traditional classes aren’t enough for learning a language. Independent learning should go hand in hand with formal academic training. Since self-studying is a necessity, a great way to maximize it is to learn with the right resources. One effective and smart way to do so is to ensure that you have ample exposure to English media. Incorporating audio-visual materials is both an educational and entertaining way to achieve fluency. TV shows, films, podcasts, dedicated instructional videos, interactive learning software like LillyPad.ai, social media clips, and so on can show you how English speakers (native or otherwise) use the language in different professional, academic, and social contexts. You only need to consume these tools with purpose, which means taking content in with the intention of learning. It can go a long way to add some punch to your aptitude.
3. Practical Use
Teachers from all branches of study would share the adage “theory means nothing without practice.” This is especially true when you learn languages. Your teachers are simply your guides; they won’t be there to speak or write English for you when you need to. The most efficient way to improve your level is to use the language as often as possible. It’s somewhat common to know someone who is proficient in grammar but horribly lacking in verbal communication. It’s likely because a major part of their studies is spent on books, not in actual interaction. Granted that most English language learners don’t live in areas where English is spoken all the time; but when there’s a lack of opportunity, you can always make one yourself. Organize study groups or English clubs with like-minded people and cultivate friendships, both with native and non-native speakers alike. You will learn the value of cultural and social interaction as well.
Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand mass nouns and abstract nouns.
Common Errors Made by English Learners
Errors in concrete nouns are rooted in any of the three factors below. Study the table in order to avoid making the same errors:
|Tips to Avoid Errors||Explanation|
|Ensure the words are sensory||The word “tangible” means to be perceived physically. Any nouns with the quality of tangibility are concrete nouns. They are related to one or more of the five senses: sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch.|
|Be mindful of subject-verb agreement||Since concrete nouns can either be singular or plural, make sure you are using the right verb forms to match them. Singular nouns go with singular verbs and plural nouns go with plural verbs.|
|Capitalize properly||Common or general concrete nouns don’t need to be capitalized. But since concrete nouns can be proper nouns as well, make sure you do so correctly when using specific names.|
Learning Strategies and Best Practices with Concrete Nouns
The best way to master concrete nouns is to remember 3 simple things. Let’s take a look at the following list:
- Sensory nouns are concrete nouns. If you can see, smell, touch, taste, or hear it, it’s concrete.
- If you can’t sense the noun physically, it’s abstract. Immaterial, intangible, and “concept” nouns are all abstract. You can’t experience it with the senses, but rather experience it in thought or idea.
- Concrete and abstract nouns complement each other. By adding concrete or sensory qualities to abstract ideas, we can understand abstract nouns better. “Courage” is an abstract noun, but when we explain it, we can compare it to actions that can be physically perceived to create a more elaborate picture. “Courage” is when you overcome your shyness and speak in front of an audience. It’s standing up to defend your beliefs. It’s speaking out and letting others hear your point of view.
Concrete Nouns Frequently Asked Questions
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