Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Noun Phrase

Nominal Phrase Construct (abbreviated NP)
The nominal phrase is a group of two or more words that together substitute for a simple noun. As with the simple noun, the phrase answers the question "who" or "what" is involved in the verbal action. The nominal phrase takes the same position in a sentence---"The boy with the red hair bought the milk"---as does the simple noun---"Bobby bought the milk."

Nominal Phrase Head
Each nominal phrase has a head. This is a simple noun that the remaining words modify. In the sentence, "The boy with the red hair bought the milk," the boy is the head noun. The prepositional phrase "with the red hair" modifies the boy.

Simple Nominal Phrases
A nominal phrase does not necessarily require modification of the head noun. The sentence, "The boy buys milk," contains the nominal phrase, "the boy." The addition of the definite article turns the single word noun into a phrase.


Noun phrases normally consist of a head noun, which is optionally modified ("premodified" if the modifier appears before the noun; "postmodified" if the modifier follows the noun). Possible modifiers include:

* determiners: articles (the, a), demonstratives (this, that), numerals (two, five, etc.), possessives (my, their, etc.), and quantifiers (some, many, etc.). In English, determiners are usually placed before the noun;
* adjectives (the red ball); or
* complements, in the form of a prepositional phrase (such as: the student of physics), or a That-clause (the claim that the earth is round);
* modifiers; pre-modifiers if before the noun and usually either as nouns (the university student) or adjectives (the beautiful lady), or post-modifiers if after the noun. A postmodifier may be either a prepositional phrase (the man with long hair) or a relative clause (the house where I live). The difference between modifiers and complements is that complements complete the meaning of the noun; complements are necessary, whereas modifiers are optional because they add information about the noun.

Read more: What Is a Nominal Phrase? |

Watch these videos for more on noun phrases

  1. Individual task. Look for an article related to your field of expertise. Use Google, write key words related to a topic you want to read about.
  2. Write a post in your blog. Introduce the topic of the article. Make sure to add the link where you got it from. Write a short summary of the article. Say what it is about.Give your opinion about it.
  3. Select two paragraphs from your article and copy them in your blog.
  4. Find three sentences and find the NP, head noun, pre modifiers and post modifiers.
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