Nouns are used to name people, places and things. The group of nouns called "abstract nouns" provide this same function, but they are things that do not involve any of the five senses. You cannot taste, hear, touch, see or smell an abstract noun. These are completely opposite of concrete nouns, which are things you can experience with one of the five senses. In other words, an abstract noun is intangible.
List of Abstract Nouns
The following is a list of abstract nouns with sample sentences of how they would be used.
- Anger - Her anger reached boiling point.
- Awe - The girl's performance was awe inspiring.
- Belief - His belief was that all cats are good company.
- Bravery - The fireman's bravery allowed him to run into the burning building and rescue five people.
- Brilliance - The student's brilliance was only shown when he took his final exam.
- Calm - The calm came before the storm hit.
- Charity - My mother said that she preferred not to accept charity.
- Compassion - Have a little compassion for those less fortunate than you.
- Courage - It takes courage to stick up for someone who is being bullied by others.
- Curiosity - Curiosity can help you learn new things.
- Deceit - Her deceit knew no bounds.
- Dedication - The dedication for the new building is at six o'clock.
- Delight - The taste of hot cocoa on a cold day is a pure delight.
- Despair - The woman's despair was apparent from her red nose and watery eyes.
- Determination - His determination to win the track meet showed on his face.
- Faith - Her faith was strong enough to move mountains.
- Freedom - She wanted the freedom to decide what she would be when she grew up.
- Friendship - Your friendship is one of my favorite parts of the day.
- Generosity - The old woman's generosity included giving whatever she could to other people.
- Happiness - My happiness doesn't depend on what other people think of me.
- Hate - Hate is an emotion that hurts the hater more than the hated.
- Honesty - Honesty is one of the most important traits in a good friend.
- Hope - Even though she'd had a bad week, the girl had hope that things would be better tomorrow.
- Imagination - Rebecca's imagination helped her picture what life would be like in five years.
- Integrity - Because of the student's integrity, she didn't feel right about cheating on the test.
- Intelligence - Jeremy's intelligence was never in question.
- Joy - The puppy's joy at seeing his master was evident as he bounced around the yard and barked.
- Justice - Although we want the world to be fair, justice is not always served.
- Kindness - A small act of kindness can completely change someone else's world.
- Knowledge - She had the knowledge to fix her car and make it run again.
- Love - Love is hard to define, but you'll know it when you feel it.
- Loyalty - A dog's loyalty to his owner is one of his best qualities.
- Memory - The memory of her last birthday made Julie look forward to her next birthday.
- Misery - Chris' misery made him want to curl up in a ball in the corner and cry.
- Motivation - Her motivation for learning to play the piano was to make her mother happy.
- Opportunity - Ann was given the opportunity to try out for a part in the school play.
- Patience - You need patience to train a puppy to fetch a ball.
- Pride - She took great pride in the custom cakes she baked and decorated.
- Reality - The reality of the situation was that she was lost in the woods and it was getting dark.
- Relaxation - For a little relaxation, kick off your shoes and dig your toes into the sand.
- Sacrifice - It was a great sacrifice to give up her spot on the soccer team.
- Satisfaction - Deborah gained satisfaction from baking cookies for her daughter's Girl Scout troop.
- Sympathy - When her best friend's grandfather died, Kelly did her best to offer sympathy and comfort.
- Talent - Mary's talent was in knowing when to deliver the punch line and make everyone laugh.
- Thought - The thought that went into redecorating her bedroom took hours.
- Truth - Whenever someone asks you a question, it is always best to tell the truth.
- Trust - If you lie to people, eventually, you will lose their trust.
- Warmth - The sunny yellow paint added warmth to the kitchen.
- Wisdom - The old man's wisdom helped the youngsters understand why family was important.
Is it Abstract or Not?
Figuring out when you are dealing with an abstract noun can be confusing, because some abstract nouns also serve as verbs as well. For example, the word "fear" can be used as a verb or an abstract noun.
- As a Verb: I fear storms.
- As an Abstract Noun: The horror movie filled me with fear.
Therefore, where the word appears in a sentence is part of what makes it an abstract noun.
Enjoy the Intangible
Now that you've learned how abstract nouns are used in a sentence and seen examples in action, you'll recognize these particular category of nouns easily. To help your child gain a better understanding of both concrete and abstract nouns, point them out as the two of you are reading or encourage old children to find them as they read favorite books or even in everyday conversation.