Noun Modifiers for intermediate learners

As you might guess, noun modifiers can modify nouns. What if there is a noun phrase after noun modifiers? If these questions are stuck in your mind, read more!

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"Noun Modifiers" in the English Grammar

What Are Noun Modifiers?

Noun modifiers are nouns that are used to describe other nouns. In other words, they act as an adjective for a head noun.

When Can We Use Noun Modifiers?

Noun modifiers are used to show things like the function, material, age, length, or part of something in a noun phrase. Check out a few examples:

We waited at the bus stop.

They used a silver fork.

Using Noun Modifiers to Show Function

We can use noun modifiers in noun phrases to show the function of the head noun. Here are some examples:

I wore my tennis shoes.

We entered the music store.

Using Noun Modifiers to Show Material

We can use noun modifiers in noun phrases to show what something is made of. For example:

I wore my silk scarf.

She used gold cups for the queen.

Using Noun Modifiers to Show Age and Length

We can use noun modifiers in noun phrases to talk about the age or length of the head noun.
In this usage, usually a hyphen is inserted between the parts of the noun modifier. Pay attention to the examples:

I couldn't take care of a seven-year-old boy.

I went on a five-day trip.

Using Noun Modifiers to Show Belonging

We can use noun modifiers in noun phrases to show that something belongs to or is a part of something else. For example:

We slept on the bedroom floor.

I put the watch in my coat pocket.

Review

Noun modifiers are used to show the following features of a noun:

  • material
  • function
  • age and length
  • part of something

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