Unit 3.2

Articles with Abstract Nouns

Nouns

Abstract nouns fall into two classes: countables and uncountables.

The use of articles with countable abstract nouns does not differ from their use with countable concrete nouns.

Countable abstract nouns in singular form are used with the indefinite or definite article and in plural form are used without any article or with the definite article.

Uncountable abstract nouns usually don’t follow any article.

The most commonly used abstract nouns are: complexity, truth

  • The complexities of communism are hard to understand. (Countable)
    I was shocked by the complexity of his problems. (Uncountable)
  • She is a scientist, she tells the universal truths. (Countable)
    There is no truth in her story. (Uncountable)

We usually don’t use any article with abstract nouns, but we use definite articles when:

  • the situation makes the idea definite;
  • definite article indicates a certain kind of quality, felling, state…

Many abstract nouns can have both countable and uncountable form. We use:

  • countable form to refer to a particular meaning;
  • uncountable form to refer to a general meaning.

Abstract nouns fall into two classes: countables and uncountables.

The use of articles with countable abstract nouns does not differ from their use with countable concrete nouns — in the singular countable abstract nouns are used with the indefinite or definite article; in the plural they are used without any article or with the definite article.

Many abstract nouns can have both countable and uncountable uses.

The countable form is used with a particular meaning, whereas the uncountable form has a general meaning.

For example:
“She made clever comments about my article.” = As an abstract noun, comment is used as a countable noun.
“There was a lot of comment about Princess Diana’s death.” = In this sentence, comment is used a an uncountable noun.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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