Nature abhors a vacuum / emptiness

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Sachandréa

Senior Member
French France
Hello, everyone.
"Nature abhors a vacuum" can be rephrased: "Nature abhors emptiness".
Can you explain to me why there is an article before "vacuum" whereas there isn't one before "emptiness" since the two words express the same notion?
Thank you for your help.
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    I would disagree that the rephrasing means the same thing. But the difference is that vacuum is a concrete noun, and cannot be used as an abstract concept. Emptiness is on the contrary an abstract noun which cannot be used as a concrete noun. Concrete nouns take articles, and abstract nouns do not.
     

    Sachandréa

    Senior Member
    French France
    Thank you, Glasguensis and Kirusha, for your explanations.
    According to you, Kirusha, the best translation of the Aristotelian sentence is therefore " a vacuum" and not "emptiness".
     
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