What Are Noun Phrases?
Noun phrases consist of a noun and one or more modifiers. These modifiers are there to describe the noun. In this lesson, we will learn all about it.
Different Parts of a Noun Phrase
A noun phrase consists of a noun which is called a head noun and some modifiers. These modifiers can be adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, etc. They modify and describe nouns. Those that come before the head noun are called pre-modifiers and those that come after it is called post-modifiers. Below, we are going to examine them:
As mentioned above, pre-modifiers come before the head noun and modify it. Look at the list below to understand the different kinds of pre-modifiers:
Now, let us analyze each:
When we want to show possession of something or someone or the relations between some people, we use 'possessive nouns' as pre-modifiers before the head noun. Look:
As you can see, the 'partner' is the head noun.
Haven't you seen Sarah's
We can also use some nouns to modify the head noun of the noun phrase. Look at the examples below:
Dad has cooked us a
Here, 'tomato' is a noun modifying 'soup'.
Have you ever tried
Attributive Predicative Adjectives
Sometimes, we can have adjectives before the head noun to modify it. Look below:
Hannah and I wanted to watch a
Determiners can also be pre-modifiers and describe the head noun in a noun phrase. Look at the examples below:
As you can see, 'those' is a determiner and 'cats' is the head noun.
You left your book at
Here, 'my' is a determiner and 'place' is the head noun.
As mentioned above, some modifiers come after the head noun and describe it. Below is a list of the most common post-modifiers:
Now, let us examine each closely:
Here, an infinitive has been used as a post-modifiers to describe the head noun which is 'place'.
Look at that fluffy dog
Here, a present participle is modifying the head noun 'dog'.
We can also use prepositional phrases to modify the head noun in the noun phrase. Look at the following examples:
Somebody quiet down that dog
No one has ever been in that room
Noun phrases can have many different functions. Look at the list below:
Now, let us see how a noun phrase can be used as all the functions above:
I don't need
My girlfriend cooked me
It might come in handy to know that a noun phrase can sometimes have only one noun with no modifiers. Look:
Here, 'Archie' is a noun phrase and is the object of the sentence.