Exercise: concrete and abstract nouns in context

Read the following  passage and find all the nouns. Then decide whether they are concrete or abstract.

There was heavy traffic all the way down City Road. We passed restaurants, all-night stores, compute- repair stores, Persian rug shops and sari shops with windows full of exquisite silks of the brightest colours you could imagine.  It’s one of those roads which is still alive and thriving while the card shops and DVD stores have closed their doors in the high street. I suppose it’s not the most attractive area. There’s often rubbish blowing miserably along the pavements and many of the shop-fronts could do with a re-brand, but it’s an interesting place for a wander.

As City Road joins Newport Road, there’s the old 1880’s workhouse. It’s a strangely grand building, with an imposing arch and a clock-tower.  I suppose it’s rather like a prison, but there’s something dramatic about its proportions. It looks solid and secure alongside the new tower blocks that have sprung up on both sides of the dual carriage-way. But it’s the church opposite that really enchants me. St. James’s Church. We used to have our school Christmas concerts there and it was a truly traditional occasion with candle-light illuminating the stained-glass. I’ve never understood religion myself, and I can’t say I really listened to the readings, but it was a time for reflection in a beautiful space.

It’s been sold since those days – a transformation into flats is the next stage in its life apparently. There’s even going to be one in the spire, which will, we are promised, retain the integrity and character of the building. I’d love that – living in a spire with a view over the whole city.  Better than being stuck here at the traffic lights again.


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