Sorry for my ignorant grammar question .....

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Upsadaisy, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,936
    Likes Received:
    678

    Jun 5, 2013

    but, would someone tell me if the word, 'state', is a concrete or abstract noun?

    I think I'm getting hung up on the fact that a state has tangible borders - yet it is a geo-political entity. Help!!
     
  2.  
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,471
    Likes Received:
    2,488

    Jun 5, 2013

    Could it not be both?
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,552
    Likes Received:
    1,060

    Jun 5, 2013

    I'm with Caesar: I think the answer is "yes". I also think the question isn't at all ignorant.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,936
    Likes Received:
    678

    Jun 5, 2013

    Thank you, TG. But, could it really be both?
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,552
    Likes Received:
    1,060

    Jun 5, 2013

    Well, generally not at the same time, and much depends on context. The distinction isn't one that plays into grammar, to the best of my knowledge - in contrast to the mass vs. count distinction, so that one says "a few spring rolls" but not *"a few rice" - and there are enough metaphorical and even literal transgressions of the border between concrete and abstract that it doesn't seem to me to be a very useful distinction to make.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,552
    Likes Received:
    1,060

    Jun 5, 2013

    For those bent on making the distinction, I suppose I'd agree that "the state of California" is concrete when viewed as a container of attributes that can be sensed ("Within the borders of the state of California are both the highest point in the continental US and the lowest") and abstract when viewed as a governmental entity ("The state of California issues teacher licenses to those who have completed a postgraduate teacher preparation program").

    But I'm not thrilled.
     
  8. queenie

    queenie Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2013

    I think it's a concrete noun. Abstract nouns name concepts, ideas, or emotions. A state is something you can see- it's tangible with borders (even as a 'concept' it's tangible since it consists of real people). JMO :D
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,268
    Likes Received:
    97

    Jun 5, 2013

    :lol: I think I'm in a state of confusion!
     
  10. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    65

    Jun 5, 2013

    That's definitely abstract!
     
  11. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2013

    Both.

    The state of California would be concrete.

    A state of mind would be abstract.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,936
    Likes Received:
    678

    Jun 5, 2013

    Interesting. I personally wouldn't have worried much about the distinction, but it was a question for one of my students from her online course. Thank you all. I feel better about it now, anyway. :D
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. ready2learn,
  3. Jioconde
Total: 355 (members: 6, guests: 319, robots: 30)
test