Is an Abstract Noun a Verb?: 7 Important Facts You Should Know

This article answers the question: is an abstract noun a verb? 

There are some cases in which abstract nouns are also verbs. This happens when the word can function as both an abstract noun and a verb in different contexts.

Is an abstract noun a verb? 

Yes, an abstract noun can be a verb depending on the manner in which it is used. There are times in which an abstract noun can also be used to describe the action of feeling something—in which case it is a verb. 

Example 1: Love should not be exhausting. 

In this example “love” is an abstract noun—because it is something that is intangible. That is, it does not exist as a physical object in the world.

Example 2: I will love my dog for eternity. 

In this example, however, the word “love” is used as a verb—as it describes the action of loving a dog. 

Example 3: Trust is a very delicate thing—once broken it can never be mended completely. 

In this example, the word “trust” is used as an abstract noun. This is because it is not used as an action word, but is used to describe a concept or an idea.

Example 4: I have more trust in you than I do in anyone else. 

In this example, “trust” is used as a verb, and not an abstract noun. This is because it describes the action of trusting someone. 

How can an abstract noun be a verb? 

Some abstract nouns can also be verbs depending on the context they are used (such as the words “love” and “trust”). Other times, abstract nouns cannot be used as a verb. For example, while the words “life” and “admiration” are abstract nouns–they cannot be used as verbs, because they do not represent any type of action. 

When can an abstract noun be a verb? 

An abstract noun can be a verb in the rare cases in which the word can both work as a noun that refers to an abstract concept or feeling as well as a verb that represents a particular action. 

Example 1: I dislike going on walks while wearing sandals. 

In this example “dislike” is a verb—because it represents an action. 

Example 2: Nothing worthwhile comes out of dislike. 

In this example, “dislike” is an abstract noun—because it represents an intangible concept. 

Where can an abstract noun be a verb? 

An abstract noun can be a verb if it has different meanings in different contexts. It has to be able to represent both an abstract or intangible concept or emotion, as well as an action. 

How to form abstract nouns from verbs? 

It is common to form abstract nouns by adding a suffix to verbs, adjectives, or even nouns that aren’t abstract (these are known as concrete nouns). 

Example 1: The verb “adore” can be turned into the abstract noun “adoration” by adding the suffix “-ation.” 

Example 2: The verb “excite” can be turned into the abstract noun “excitement” by adding the suffix “-ment.” 

Example 3: The verb “persevere” can be turned into the abstract noun “perseverance” by adding the suffix “-ance.” 

Example 4: The verb “marry” can be turned into the abstract noun “marriage” by adding the suffix “-iage.” 

Example 5: The verb “argue” can be turned into the abstract noun “argument” by adding the suffix “-ment.” 

Example 6: The adjective “aware” can be turned into the abstract noun “awareness” by adding the suffix “-ness.” 

Example 7: The adjective “dishonest” can be turned into the abstract noun “dishonesty” by adding the suffix “-y.” 

Example 8: The adjective “brave” can be turned into the abstract noun “bravery” by adding the suffix “-ry.” 

Example 9: The adjective “free” can be turned into the abstract noun “freedom” by adding the suffix “-dom.” 

Example 10: The concrete noun “friend” can be turned into the abstract noun “friendship” by adding the suffix “-ship.” 

What is the difference between abstract nouns and verbal nouns?

Verbal nouns are verbs that are derived from verbs (by adding a suffix to them) but that function as nouns. The difference between abstract nouns and verbal nouns is that while abstract nouns only refer to intangible things, verbal nouns often refer to things that can be experienced using the five senses. For example, words like “reading” and “biking” are verbal nouns—but they aren’t abstract nouns. 

In conclusion, an abstract noun includes any noun that can’t be felt with our five central senses. This means that you cannot touch, taste, hear, smell, or see abstract nouns. Verbs, on the other hand, are words that are used to indicate all actions. These actions can include feelings and emotions too. Therefore, the answer to the question “Is an abstract noun a verb”— is that, yes, on occasion, abstract nouns are also verbs. This is if the word can function as both an abstract noun and a verb in different contexts.

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