Nouns: Abstract noun and Collective noun with examples

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What is a Noun?

A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. When we specify who or what we are particularly speaking of for the listener to be able to relate to, that’s called a noun.

Types of Nouns with examples

Types of NounsDefinition Examples
Proper NounName of a person, a place, an animal, or thing Max, Burj Khalifa, October.
Common NounName of a class or section of people, animals, or things Teacher, Doctor, Tiger
Abstract NounThese are feelings, quality or characteristics, ideas, or state of being.Happy, anger, honest, rich.
Collective Noun Denotes a group of nouns or a set of things. They are a group of common nouns and can be counted. Shoal of fish, Swarm of bees, pack of wolves.

How can we identify the type of Noun?

There are 4 main types of nouns to identify:

  • Proper Noun: Proper nouns is the name of a person or of something you specifically imply. It is the name of a person, place, animal or thing
    Examples: Wall Street Journal, Albert Einstein, London, Monday, etc
  • Common Noun: It refers to the name of a class or section of people, animals, or things.
    Examples: Teacher, Nurse, Street, Post office, Table, Bench, etc
  • Abstract Noun: They are nouns used to define anything that cannot be seen, touched, or sensed by any of our senses. An idea, a state of being, a feeling, a quality, or a characteristic quality can be termed abstract nouns.
    For example, you can be sad, and feel the emotion, but not touch it, smell it, taste it, or even see it, but you do know it exists within you.
  • Collective Noun: Nouns that are considered to be a group of nouns or a set of things, people, animals, emotions, or concepts considered as a single whole. They are a group of common nouns and can be counted. 
    For example, a banana is a common noun, the collective noun for it
    will be a bunch of bananas/hand of bananas.

What is an Abstract Noun?

Any ideas, emotions, and other “things” you can’t physically see, taste, hear, smell or touch is called Abstract Noun.

Examples of Abstract Nouns:

Examples of common Abstract nouns used often in English conversations:

Emotions / Feelings: Happiness, anger, jealousy, laughter, love, hatred, worry, fear, stress, anxiety, sadness, etc

Attributes/qualities: Pride, poverty, strength, wisdom, bravery, cruelty, youth, beauty, honesty, hatred, truth, etc

Ideas/concepts: Beliefs, dreaming, trust, knowledge, information, vision, relation (abstract noun of relate), etc

What are Collective Nouns?

Any number of people or things or groups and collections are known as Collective Noun.

Examples of Collective Nouns:

  • A class of people.                                        
  • A pack of cards.
  • A team of players
  • A basket of fruits
  • A hand of bananas
  • A clump of trees
  • A brood of hens
  • A troop/ tribe of monkeys
  • A pride/ ostentation of peacocks
  • A patrol of policemen
  • A staff of teachers
  • A flight of birds
  • A school/ shoal of fish
  • A fleet of ship
  • A pack of wolves                 
  • A cluster of bees
  • A library of books
  • A line of cars
  • A constellation of stars
  • A huddle of penguins

Top 3 differences between Collective Noun and Abstract noun

Let’s see the differences between collective and abstract nouns. Abstract nouns and collective nouns can be easily differentiated in three important ways.

  1. Abstract nouns are nouns that define an idea, state of being, a feeling, a quality, or a characteristic, whereas collective nouns are used to identify groups of people, animals, or things
  2. Abstract nouns are intangible as they have no physical existence. For example, you can be happy but cannot touch happiness with your fingers. Whereas collective nouns are tangible and have a physical existence such as a pack of wolves, a swarm of bees, a clump of trees, etc.
  3. Abstract nouns can be of two types: countable and uncountable. A joke, an hour, etc are countable abstract nouns, whereas courage, freedom are uncountable abstract nouns. Collective nouns are countable nouns. They are considered to be a subset of count nouns because they denote a group of countable nouns as a whole unit. Example: A dozen of bananas, denotes 12 bananas.

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