A mass vs abstract concept

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Jignesh77

Senior Member
India- hindi
A mass: work, equipment, homework, money, transportation, clothing, luggage, jewelry, traffic

A natural substance: air, ice, water, fire, wood, blood, hair, gold, silver

Food: milk, rice, coffee, bread, sugar, meat, water

An abstract concept: advice, happiness, health, education, research, knowledge, information, time

Academic Guides: Grammar: Count and Noncount Nouns
Please explain the difference between the terms "a mass" and "abstract concept".
Why can't we treat "traffic" in "abstract concept " and not in the "mass" category?
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Please explain the difference between the terms "a mass" and "abstract concept".
    Why can't we treat "traffic" in "abstract concept " and not in the "mass" category?
    An abstract concept is immaterial. You cannot touch knowledge, for example.
    A mass is material. You can touch cars driving by, of which traffic consists. :)
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Work' would usually be thought of as abstract, but I can point to these papers and say this is my work for today. Traffic could be abstract if it meant e-mails or telephone calls.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    'Work' would usually be thought of as abstract, but I can point to these papers and say this is my work for today. Traffic could be abstract if it meant e-mails or telephone calls.
    This is true. And of course most of those words can be used in multiple ways.

    The abstract nouns are all single entities – and the word concept is key. They represent ideas rather than things.

    The “mass” nouns listed are not concepts but typical/representative examples denoting a particular category of things as a whole.
     

    Jignesh77

    Senior Member
    India- hindi
    Thanks. Does mass nouns have physical existence? Does "abstract" mean without any physical existence? They just exist in your mind?
     
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