Nouns, in general, refer to the word which is given as names of people, places, events and things. There are a lot of different classes of nouns, and abstract nouns are one of them. What is special about this class of nouns is that they are not detected by any of our five senses.
We cannot see, hear, taste, feel, or smell abstract nouns.
As an example, consider this sentence:
When the young kid jumped in and helped rescue the poor little dog, his bravery caught the attention of the crowd.
While the other nouns in the sentence (kid, dog, crowd) can be seen, bravery can’t. There is no particular shape, odor, or sound of bravery. Bravery has neither color or texture.
The opposite of an abstract noun is a concrete noun. A concrete noun is a noun which can be experienced with the five senses.
It can be tricky, identifying whether a noun is an abstract noun or a concrete noun. Certain words which can function in several ways. For example, a word can function as a verb and an abstract noun at the same time.
I love my parents. (In this sentence, “love” is an action, and so isn’t an abstract noun, but is rather a verb.)
Send my friends lots of love. (In this particular sentence, the same word “love” is used, but it now functions as an abstract noun because it acts as a thing which cannot be experienced with our five senses.)
Additionally, abstract nouns can either be countable or non-countable. They can also appear as singular, or in the possessive form.
In certain cases, abstract nouns come from adding a suffix, or changing the root word. For example, “man” is a concrete noun. But, adding “hood” to it makes it an intangible state, turning it into an abstract noun.
These types of nouns are very common. Obviously, abstract nouns are an important part of daily communication. While some of the abstract nouns are quite challenging to identify, familiarization and practice can make one an expert in terms of identifying different abstract nouns in a given sentence.
Examples of Abstract Nouns: