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The Difference Between Concrete and Abstract Words

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Have you ever wanted to create more powerful stories or descriptions?

Today, we're going to look at something that can help. Today we're talking about Concrete and Abstract words.

I'm Dustin the online writing tutor and if you want content like this, don't forget to like this video on my YouTube channel and follow along!

Concrete words are words that are in the physical world. Look around you right now and name what you see specifically. These are concrete words.

Here are some examples of concrete words. These are things we can reach out and touch or we can see.

An abstract word by contrast is an idea. It exists in our minds. These could be emotions, concepts, or categories.

Here are some examples of abstract words.

Think for a moment about how we experience the world. If you think about it, we experience the world through our senses and then we organize these into categories within our minds. For example, we don't see 'angry', instead, we see the facial expression and then we determine that the person may be angry or joyful, or sad.

The advantage of concrete words is that they can help to create these memorable experiences for readers.

Abstract words, on the other hand, are really good at explaining. They are well-suited for providing information or creating an academic argument. You can put a complex idea into a fairly succinct expression within a sentence using abstract words.

But you might be thinking of an example or two where a word could be both. You're right! Here is an example below:

There are also different levels of abstraction. Here is an example below:

Let's practice! Identify the concrete words below:

Here are the answers to Practice 1:

Let's practice again!

Here are the answers to Practice 2:

I really hope this helps you! Don't forget to follow along if you like articles like this.

I'll see you next time! : )


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