• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Saterfrisian
  • Afrikaans
Show all
Common nouns: abstract nouns

Abstract nouns refer to non-physical matters, often emotions, ideas, or processes (Van Rooy 2017:256). Examples include teorie theory, vrede peace, woede anger, toestand condition, byvoeging addition, and many more. Even though abstract nouns do not refer to physical entities, some of these nouns can still take the plural and diminutive, such as teorieë theories or ideetjie idea.DIM.


Abstract nouns are those nouns used to refer to non-physical entities or matters. Similar to mass nouns, abstract nouns can be used without an article or other determiner (1a), or with a definite article or determiner (1b). However, under specific circumstances some abstract nouns can be used with the indefinite article, implying singularity. In (1c), 'n liefde a love is not actually used to refer to the emotion itself, but to a person. In (1d) and (1e), however, the reference is to the emotion – in (1d) a love for a specific sport, and in (1e) just the emotion itself: 'n groot jammerte a great pity and 'n geweldige liefde a great love.

a. 'n Wêreld wat vrede, liefde en harmonie ken.
a world that.REL peace love and harmony know
A world that knows peace, love and harmony.
b. Die liefde tussen William en Jacorien is so duidelik.
the love between William and Jacorien be.PRS so clear
The love between William and Jacorien is so clear.
c. Ons sien daar's 'n nuwe liefde in jou lewe.
we see there's a new love in your.SG life
We see that there is a new love in your life.
d. Ons wil graag 'n liefde vir hokkie kweek.
we want.to.AUX.MOD really a love for hockey cultivate
We really want to cultivate a love for hockey.
VivA-KPO, adapted
e. 'n Groot jammerte en 'n geweldige liefde stoot soos 'n gety uit Nicola se hart.
a great pity and a great love push like a tide out Nicola PTCL.GEN heart
A great pity and a great love pushes out of Nicola's heart like a tide.
VivA-KPO, adapted
    printreport errorcite