Can I use the word concrete as a synonym to real in a phrase like this?

Russian beer is a concrete shit.

Maybe this phrase sounds like drivel for a native speaker?

  • 2
    Could it possibly be a mishearing of someone saying Russian beer is a complete shit? – John Lawler Aug 16 '13 at 18:04
  • This seems like a better question for English Language Learners. – J.R. Aug 17 '13 at 0:46
  • 1
    You could say: Russian beer is concrete shit Note, the indefinite article "a" is not used before the uncountable noun, "beer". However, I would interpret that as meaning the beer is almost solid! What you should say is: *Russian beer is really shitty. (no offense to Russian beer producers intended :)) – Mari-Lou A Aug 18 '13 at 4:48

The expression in your question makes no sense, but concrete can have a meaning similar to "real" in certain contexts. See the following definition:

concrete adj
1. [not relevant]
2. relating to items which can be felt, touched, seen, etc • concrete objects. Compare abstract adj 3 [= said of an art form, especially painting: that represents the subject by shapes and patterns, etc rather than in the shape or form it actually has.].
3. definite or positive, as opposed to vague or general • concrete evidence.
4. grammar said of a noun: denoting a physical thing, eg house, rather than a quality, condition or action.

For definitions 2 & 3 above, you could use the respective terms real objects & real evidence, so in those senses concrete can be a synonym for "real".


Shit is a very versatile word and can have either negative or positive connotations but you need to know which words can be paired with it and their meanings.

The typical collocations with the noun shit are as follows:

Source Wikipedia and CDO

  • hard shit (very difficult)

    tough shit (that's your bad luck)

    stupid shit (ridiculously stupid/absurd)

    deep shit (serious trouble)

    piece of shit (very bad/poor quality or a dislikeable person)

    little shit (a mean, despicable person)

    to not give a shit (to not care)

    a load of shit (complete nonsense as in: "she talks a load of shit")

    complete shit (disgusting or inferior quality)

    No shit! (an expression of amazement and wonder/no kidding)

    cool shit (trendy/great/really good)

    hot shit (noun: someone or something that is very good)

    shit hot (adj: extremely good)

    funny shit (very amusing/humorous)

    The shit (the best there is) not to be confused with

    The shits (diarrhoea)


So in the case of "concrete shit" to describe the inferior quality of Russian beer you will see it doesn't exist as a collocation. Instead, you could describe it as:

Russian beer is complete shit/a load of shit/a piece of shit"


Real here means very great and is used to emphasise a noun. This is a different meaning from concrete altogether.

  • in other words, concrete sounds like 'building material', not antonym of 'abstract'? even there are nothing about building in the context? – pinocchio964 Aug 16 '13 at 16:44
  • And a native speaker can understand what 'concrete shit' is like 'concrete example', not 'building material'? – pinocchio964 Aug 16 '13 at 16:48
  • 1
    No, I doubt anyone would say "concrete shit". – TrevorD Aug 16 '13 at 16:50
  • 1
    “Russian beer is a concrete shit” sounds to me like you’re saying the beer is so thick it feels like a big lump made out of concrete. Very different from saying, “Russian beer is utter shit”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 17 '13 at 2:07

Quite simply, no, that makes no sense.

  • The two words are not synonymous in any context - are they? – user49727 Aug 16 '13 at 16:23
  • Not a context that I can think of. – Ste Aug 16 '13 at 16:27
  • 3
    What about "Can you give me a concrete example?"? – TrevorD Aug 16 '13 at 16:36
  • Maybe the opposite of a concrete example would be an abstract example, while the opposite of a real example would be an imaginary example. – GEdgar Aug 18 '13 at 13:21
  • I'm not sure "concrete example" is entirely synonymous with "real example". They are interchangeable in certain contexts, admittedly, but I read the OP as wanting to mean "really shit" rather than "a real shit". – Ste Aug 19 '13 at 6:51

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