Concrete Nouns in English
What concrete nouns mean. How they differ from other nouns.
Concrete nouns denote physically existing objects and substances including people and animals. They name materials or tangible phenomena. Most nouns are concrete nouns. You can experience them with your 5 senses – by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or feeling them. As something physical, they can be touched, felt, held, seen, smelt, tasted, or heard. Concrete nouns clarify and illustrate between general and specific language, blending them naturally.
guitar, soup, house, pipe, cigar, microphone, dog, insect, stone, pebble, cell phone, glasses, cup, plate, napkin, music, paper, computer, soda, beer, toilet paper, pen, pie, pizza
Concrete nouns can be common or proper, countable or uncountable, singular or plural.
Common Concrete Nouns
dog, cat, girl, plate air, water
Countable Concrete Nouns
singular – chair, computer, song, window
plural – chairs, computers, songs, windows
Uncountable Concrete Nouns
water, air, oil, sugar, salt, rice, cheese
Proper Concrete Nouns
Mr. Jack Black, Tom Hanks, the Prodigy
Concrete nouns divide into things, collectives, and materials.
Thing nouns denote single physical objects (animate/inanimate) with a certain shape and measurements.
boy, girl, dog, table, chair
Collective nouns denote object groups (animate/inanimate) or paired objects.
family, crew, jury, shorts
Material nouns denote physical substances (masses) without a particular shape or measurements.
bread, butter, sugar, tea, copper, timber
|concrete nouns||abstract nouns|
|a beauty (pretty girl)||beauty|
|an authority (influential person)||authority|
|a witness (spectator)||witness|
|a space (input symbol)||space|
|concrete things||concrete materials|
|a lemon (fruit piece)||lemon|
|a chicken (animal)||chicken|
|an iron (electrical appliance)||iron|
|a wood (small forest)||wood|
It’s useful to use concrete nouns as metaphors for ideas, helping interlocutors envisage what you are trying to convey.
It’s like a big oval.
As we live in a 3-dimensional world, concrete nouns are easy to understand. By communicating in terms of concrete things we make our interaction more effective.
Things are separate from us and in a way define who we are. Children use dolls and special objects to help them understand the not-me concept. We continue this into later life and our possessions are very much a part of our identity. If they’re taken away, we’ll suffer a significant sense of loss.