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 the 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. Here are the examples:

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 age or length of the head noun.
There is usually a hyphen between the parts of the noun modifier, in this structure. Here are 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 or is a part of something else. Here are the examples:

We slept on the bedroom floor.

I put the watch in my coat pocket.

Review

Noun modifiers are used to show the following characteristics of a noun at the same time.

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

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