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Abstract and Concrete Words (and Phrases)

(Exercise # 3)
Adapted from Child-Story Readers: Wonder Stories
New York:  Lyons and Carnahan, 1927. p. 241-2

The 
Guitar Player
by
Pablo Ruiz y 
Picasso
(1881-1973)

Directions:
1. The words in the "Word List" are more concrete than the abstract words in the table below. Put each of the words in the "Word List" in their proper place in the table.

Word List
 
China
doctor
chairs
servant
soldiers
hyena
bowman
table
lard
potatoes
bed
eagle
woodpecker
page
butter
sailors
cake
kitchen
lions
Arabia
palace
dens
Japan
buffalo
elephant
farmers
gardeners
robins

 
Animals People Birds Countries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Furniture Rooms Food Homes

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

2. Add as many concrete words as you can to each of the abstract categories.

3. Remember that the abstract/concrete distinction is not two boxes into which words can be put. Words can be more or less abstract or concrete. Select one of the concrete words on your list (or in the exercise above) and list five words that are more concrete examples of that word. For example, how many types of soldiers can you name?

4. To explain some abstract words, it is better to give and explain examples of it. Pick one word from the following list and write a paragraph that explains what it means to you. Use as many concrete examples as you can. Your teacher may have everyone read their paragraphs in class to see the different ways in which the word is defined.

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