Concrete vs abstract nouns

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    Concrete vs abstract nouns

    Within the category of common nouns lies the second nounal opposition, namely between concrete and abstract nouns.

    Concrete nouns are further subdivided into a) class nouns which denote individuals — persons or things as belonging to a class: a man, a woman, a bird, a dog, a pen, a flower, b) collective nouns, i.e. names of a group of living beings or things considered as a unit: family, crowd, police, poultry, cattle, foliage, machinery; c) names of materials indicating a mass of air, water, iron, gold, sugar, etc.

    Abstract nouns are conventionally grouped though less explicitly and rigorously into a) the names of qualities (kindness, strength, courage, sadness), b) states (fear, fight, sleep), c) processes (conversation, discussion, read­ing), d) fields of knowledge or activities (linguistics, ma­thematics, economics, physics, gymnastics), e) phenomena (weather, rain, thunder, storm, lightning, earthquake, ra­diation), f) periods of time (minute, hour, week, day, night, summer), g) generalized notions (direction, tenden­cy, accommodation, time, space).

    Abstract nouns may convert into concrete nouns if they refer to concrete objects. Compare: beauty (красо­та) a beauty (красавица), youth (юность) a youth (юноша), glass (стекло) — a glass (стакан), crime (пре­ступность) a crime (преступление).

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