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I think "mystery" is an abstract noun but I want to see your explanations.

closed as off-topic by user3169, Andrew, ColleenV Jan 9 '18 at 22:13

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  • What exactly do you mean by abstract? – Michael Rybkin Jan 9 '18 at 18:35
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    It might be useful if you state why you think mystery is an abstract noun with some support for your argument and then we can respectfully agree or disagree with support for our opinions. – user242899 Jan 9 '18 at 20:11
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Yes and no. While you can say something abstract like:

The old house was surrounded with an aura of mystery.

You can also say:

It was a mystery what happened to the owners of the old house.

Is this abstract? It seems to depend on personal opinion. "A mystery" defines a concrete set of circumstances, no less than something like "a meeting" or "a vacation". But you can't hold it in your hand.

I think you need to define what exactly you mean by "abstract", otherwise this question really has no definitive answer.

  • This answer might be misleading that count nouns are always concrete. "A story" is always abstract. "A book" is always concrete. – amI Nov 12 '18 at 7:41
  • @amI I think it depends on your definition of "abstract" and "concrete". You might say a story is "abstract" because you can't hold it in your hands, while I might say it is "concrete" because it represents something with defined boundaries (as compared with something like mystery that is completely conceptual). I'm not saying you're wrong, but rather that you have to clarify the semantics before we can agree. – Andrew Nov 12 '18 at 17:19
  • Be careful -- if you talk about 'a mystery' then it can have defined boundaries just like 'a story'. I see the fuzzy area more in dimensions, like 'time','space','energy', (which I prefer abstract) and in units, like 'hours','feet','pounds' (which I prefer concrete). – amI Nov 13 '18 at 4:09
  • @ami Well, that's what I mean in my answer when I say it could be either. A mystery has defined boundaries (e.g. it exists until some meddling kids and their dog solve it), while the general concept of mystery (as in "Mystery, Inc") does not. – Andrew Nov 13 '18 at 14:33
  • That just makes the distinction useless. Count/mass can be cued by syntactic context, but concrete/abstract relies on semantic definition. Just because you can count examples of a concept doesn't make each of those countable examples concrete. The meaningful use of 'concrete' depends on the ability to make real comparisons with real physical objects (while abstract things manifest themselves only in the pattern of different physical objects). – amI Nov 13 '18 at 17:06

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