Nouns can be categorized into many groups. Below we tackle three common noun groups: concrete, abstract and collective.
People, places and things are all concrete nouns. They’re things you can see or touch such as animals, buildings, cities and countries.
These are concepts, feelings, ideas, states of mind, and attributes such as respect, pride, loyalty, drive and freedom. If you have an abstract word and you want to test whether it’s a noun, see if you can replace the word with one that is more recognizable to you as a noun – a concrete noun. For example:
To figure out whether drive is a noun, try replacing it with a concrete noun:
You can. You can replace drive with the concrete noun homework, so it’s a good bet that drive is an abstract noun. Try it with this sentence:
Is pride a noun? Yes, because you can replace it with other concrete nouns:
Collective nouns are a type of concrete noun. These are words that describe a group of things, usually people:
In American English, we tend to treat collective nouns as singular, so although there are multiple people in a band or on a team, we treat them as one thing: