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:

Examples of Abstract nouns that relate to Emotions / Feelings:

  • The abstract noun for Happy is Happiness.
  • The abstract noun for angry is anger.
  • The abstract noun for jealous is jealousy.
  • The abstract noun for laugh is laughter.
  • The abstract noun for lovable is love.
  • The abstract noun for hate is hatred.
  • The abstract noun for sad is sadness.

Examples of Abstract nouns that relate to attributes/qualities:

  • The abstract noun for being proud is Pride.
  • The abstract noun for poor is poverty.
  • The abstract noun for strong is strength.
  • The abstract noun for wise is wisdom.
  • The abstract noun for brave is bravery.
  • The abstract noun for cruel is cruelty.
  • The abstract noun for young is youth.
  • The abstract noun for beautiful is beauty.
  • The abstract noun for honest is honesty.
  • The abstract noun for bate is hatred.

Examples of Abstract nouns that relate to ideas/concepts:

These are the nouns that signify the condition of quality, ideas, or a state of action that cannot be seen or experiences through our 5 sense organs.
We cannot hear, see, taste, touch, or smell these concepts. We can only feel them or conceptualize their existence.

  • Shaina’s beliefs in her vision of success( The abstract noun are “beliefs” and “vision”).
  • He is always dreaming in class ( The abstract noun is dreaming).
  • Having a working knowledge of the latest software was his strength. (The abstract noun are “knowledge” and “strength”)
  • Her nervousness had a direct relation to her lack of preparation for the interview. ( The abstract noun of relating is relation).

What are Collective Nouns?

Any number of people or things or groups and collections are known as Collective Noun. Some nouns can be counted and some are uncountable nouns as they cannot be counted easily such as hair, water, sand, etc. Let us see a few examples of collective nouns for both uncountable and countable nouns.

Examples of Collective Uncountable Nouns:

  • The collective noun for advice is a piece of advice.
  • The collective noun of rice is a sack of rice.
  • The collective noun for hair is strands of hair.
  • The collective noun for flour is a bowl of flour.
  • The collective noun for rain is a shower of rain.

Examples of Collective Countable Nouns:

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