Noun Phrases

 



As its name indicates, noun phrase is a group of words used as a noun. It consists two parts: the head and modifier (s). The head is always in the form of a noun. The modifiers function to give more information about the person or thing you are talking about, rather than just giving their general or specific name. Anything which you put in front of a noun is called "a pre-modifier". Anything which you put after a noun is called "a post modifier". 

Most adjectives are used as pre-modifiers. Nouns are also often used as pre-modifiers. Take a look at the following examples: 

... a big city

... blue ink

... the car door

... the oil industry 


The use of post-modifiers allows you great freedom in expanding the noun group. Post modifiers can be prepositional phrases, adjective phrases, infinitife phrases, present participle phrases, past participle phrases, relative or adjective clauses, and adverbs of place or time. See the examples below. 

... a girl in a dark grey dress (prepositional phrase)

... the textbooks available at the university library (adjective phrase)

... the desire to kill the animals (infinitive phrase)

... the person applying for the job (present participle phrase) 

 ... the soldiers surrounded by their enemies (past participle phrase)

... the man who employed me (relative or adjective clause) 


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