Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Noun Phrases

Noun Phrases

Often a noun phrase is just a noun or a pronoun:
       People like to have money.
       I am tired.
       It is getting late.
or a determiner and a noun …:
       Our friends have bought a house in the village.
       Those houses are very expensive.
… perhaps with an adjective:
        Our closest friends have just bought a new house in the village.
        Sometimes the noun phrase begins with a quantifier:
        All those children go to school here.
        Both of my younger brothers are married
        Some people spend a lot of money.


Quantifiers come before determiners, but numbers come after determiners:
          My four children go to school here. (All my children go to school here.)
          Those two suitcases are mine. (Both those suitcases are mine)

So the noun phrase is built up in this way:

  Noun: people; money
  Determiner + noun: the village, a house, our friends; those houses
  Quantifier + noun: some people; a lot of money
  Determiner + adjective + noun: our closest friends; a new house.
  Quantifier + determiner + noun: all those children;
  Quantifier + determiner + adjective + noun: both of my younger brothers

The noun phrase can be quite complicated:
           a loaf of nice fresh brown bread
           the eight-year-old boy who attempted to rob 
           a sweet shop with a pistol
           that attractive young woman in the blue dress 
           sitting over there in the corner

Some words and phrases come after the noun. 
These are called post-modifiers
A noun phrase can be post-modified in several ways:
Here are some examples:
       • with a prepositional phrase:
         a man with a gun
         the boy in the blue shirt
         the house on the corner
      • with an –ing phrase:
        the man standing over there
        the boy talking to Angela
     • with a relative clause:
       the man we met yesterday
       the house that Jack built
       the woman who discovered radium
       an eight-year-old boy who attempted to rob a sweet shop
    • with a that clause.
      This is very common with reporting or summarising nouns
      like idea, fact, belief, suggestion:
      He’s still very fit, in spite of the fact that he’s over eighty.
      She got the idea that people didn’t like her.
      There was a suggestion that the children should be sent home.
   • with a to-infinitive.
      This is very common after indefinite pronouns and adverbs:
      You should take something to read
      I need somewhere to sleep.
      I’ve got no decent shoes to wear.

There may be more than one postmodifier:
      an eight-year old boy with a gun who tried to rob a sweet shop
      that girl over there in a green dress drinking a coke


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