Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Abstract noun

8. Abstract nouns are names of qualities, conditions, or actions,
considered abstractly, or apart from their natural connection.

When we speak of a wise man, we recognize in him an attribute or
quality. If we wish to think simply of that quality without describing
the person, we speak of the wisdom of the man. The quality is still
there as much as before, but it is taken merely as a name. So
poverty would express the condition of a poor person; proof means
the act of proving, or that which shows a thing has been proved; and
so on.

Again, we may say, "Painting is a fine art," "Learning is hard to
acquire," "a man of understanding."

9. There are two chief divisions of abstract nouns:--

(1) ATTRIBUTE NOUNS, expressing attributes or qualities.

(2) VERBAL NOUNS, expressing state, condition, or action.

10. The ATTRIBUTE ABSTRACT NOUNS are derived from adjectives and
from common nouns. Thus, (1) prudence from prudent, height from
high, redness from red, stupidity from stupid, etc.; (2)
peerage from peer, childhood from child, mastery from
master, kingship from king, etc.

II. The VERBAL ABSTRACT NOUNS Originate in verbs, as their name
implies. They may be--

(1) Of the same form as the simple verb. The verb, by altering its
function, is used as a noun; as in the expressions, "a long run" "a
bold move," "a brisk walk."

(2) Derived from verbs by changing the ending or adding a suffix:
motion from move, speech from speak, theft from thieve,
action from act, service from serve.

(3) Derived from verbs by adding -ing to the simple verb. It must be
remembered that these words are free from any verbal function. They
cannot govern a word, and they cannot express action, but are merely
names of actions. They are only the husks of verbs, and are to be
rigidly distinguished from gerunds (Secs. 272, 273).

To avoid difficulty, study carefully these examples:

The best thoughts and sayings of the Greeks; the moon caused fearful
forebodings; in the beginning of his life; he spread his
blessings over the land; the great Puritan awakening; our birth is
but a sleep and a forgetting; a wedding or a festival; the rude
drawings of the book; masterpieces of the Socratic reasoning; the
teachings of the High Spirit; those opinions and feelings; there
is time for such reasonings; the well-being of her subjects; her
longing for their favor; feelings which their original meaning
will by no means justify; the main bearings of this matter.

12. Some abstract nouns were not derived from any other part of
speech, but were framed directly for the expression of certain ideas
or phenomena. Such are beauty, joy, hope, ease, energy;
day, night, summer, winter; shadow, lightning, thunder,

The adjectives or verbs corresponding to these are either themselves
derived from the nouns or are totally different words; as
glad--joy, hopeful--hope, etc.

What is Grammer in English
What is noun
Common nouns
Abstract noun

1 comment:

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