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Abstract notions Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Monday, April 24, 2017 1:44:15 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
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In general, uncountable nouns include concrete mass nouns (liquids, gases, solid substances), various abstract notions, names of scientific subjects and fields of study, names of languages, names of sports and games, names of various activities, names of natural phenomena. The list below contains some commonly used uncountable nouns.
http://usefulenglish.ru/grammar/part-2-articles-with-uncountable-nouns-basic-rules
What is the meaning of "abstract notions" in the context?
Is "abstract" an adjective modifying "notion"?
I would appreciate a detailed answer.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, April 24, 2017 8:09:04 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,689
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
ab·stract adj.
1. Considered apart from concrete existence: an abstract concept.

notion noun
1. a vague idea; impression
2. an idea, concept, or opinion

TFD

So, yes, you are right. "abstract" is an adjective and "notion" is a noun.

"Abstract notions" are non-concrete ideas or concepts.
Things like "courage", "fear", "memory" and "intelligence" - when they are used as abstract/general/non-specific ideas.

You need to have courage to become an explorer.
A hero has no fear.
Memory is an attribute valued by all detectives.
The difference between sentients and non-sentients is intelligence.


However, don't forget that some nouns can be countable too, and that uncountable nouns can be used to form countable specific (not general) noun-phrases.

You need to have the courage of a lion.
The fear of heights prevents me from working on the roof.
He told us his memories.
(stories of specific times he remembers)
Science has not built an intelligence which can pass the Turing test.
The noun-phrases in italics are specific examples of the abstract idea.

It's similar to this thread.
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Monday, April 24, 2017 8:41:26 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 4,179
Neurons: 21,933
Thanks. Does "concept" and "idea" mean the same?
I see the word " idea" lot of times in grammar books and academic writing. I have checked the dictionaries but still find it difficult to understand their meaning.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, April 24, 2017 9:55:16 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,689
Neurons: 249,615
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
They are not the same word, exactly, but in many sentences they would be interchangeable.

This synonym study should help:

Synonyms: idea, thought, notion, concept, conception
These nouns refer to what is formed or represented in the mind as the product of mental activity.
Idea has the widest range: "Human history is in essence a history of ideas" (H.G. Wells).
Thought is distinctively intellectual and stresses contemplation and reasoning: She gathered her thoughts before she spoke.
Notion suggests an often intuitive idea or image conceived by the mind: "All that came to mind was a notion of galactic space, of spirals, the Horse Nebula, all of which were distant and mysterious and cold" (Craig Nova). notion suggests a fleeting, vague, or imperfect thought: I had only a bare notion of how to proceed.
Concept and conception are applied to mental formulations on a broad scale: You seem to have absolutely no concept of time. "Every succeeding scientific discovery makes greater nonsense of old-time conceptions of sovereignty" (Anthony Eden).


"Concept" often has an impression of time, like "consideration" - they are things you know or believe which don't change much. You might have a concept of how to do your job at work - it's a pretty fixed idea.
"Idea" can be anything - long term or very short. You might have a idea of how to do your job at work. It isn't continually changing. You might have the idea to buy caviar for dinner, then change your idea two seconds later. - they are both 'ideas'.
"Notion" - at least in British English - is something created by the mind without much physical basis. It is something just 'thought up'. It tends to be abstract.
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