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Abstract and Concrete Words (and Phrases)

(Exercise # 4)
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. Put each of the words in the "Word List" in their proper place in the table.

Word List

 
church
vest
mill
sapphires
sawmill
gloves
boots
breeches
storehouse
castle
inn
wagons
sharks
mittens
cap
barn
jacket
slippers
train
shirt
guppy
diamonds
automobile
silo
truck
ships
trout
bass

 
Buildings Fishes Jewels Clothing Ways of Travel

 
 

 

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 trucks 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.

worker, entertainment, relaxation, fame