Found in Longman’s English Grammar, 1917
This paper is smooth and white;
in other words it has the qualities
of smoothness and whiteness.
The smoothness and whiteness
cannot be separted from the paper,
but in our own minds we can think of them
as something apart.
is an action, but the running cannot be
separated from the runner. It is only
in our minds that we can think of it as
is a state or condition that cannot
be separated from the slave, but that can
be thought of as something apart.
This drawing away
with our minds the quality from the thing
which has it, the action from the thing
which does it, or the condition from the thing
which is in it, is called abstracting.
Pick out the abstract nouns.
The room is twenty feet in length.
Lazy people take most trouble.
The driver behaved with cruelty.
The beauty of the scene gave us much pleasure.
A little learning is a dangerous thing.
A little weeping would ease my heart.
The quality of mercy is not strained.
There was darkness over all.
Honesty is the best policy.
The sun gives warmth.
Virtue is its own reward.
Charity covers a multitude of sins.
Wisdom is better than strength.
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.