I promised I would be back with an article on noun phrases and here I am, so glad to resume our conversation and journey through the captivating English Matrix towards clear havens of knowledge.
What is a phrase?
However, we should first clarify what a phrase is, given that, lately, we have frequently used this term.
A phrase is a combination of words which appears in a set syntactic position or, in other words, a group of grammatically linked words without a subject and predicate.
In this wider context, today’s discussion, as previously mentioned, focuses on the topic of noun phrases.
A noun phrase or nominal phrase (NP) is a phrase which has a noun (or indefinite pronoun) as its head and which plays the role of a noun.
They perform the function of verb subjects and objects, of predicative expressions and of complements of prepositions.
They can be embedded inside each other
How to identify noun phrases?
Noun phrases can be easily identified by the possibility of replacing them with a pronoun.
I like always surprising the audience with an excellent performance.
I like it.
What do noun phrases consist of?
A noun phrase consists of a noun, which is the head of the phrase, and one or more dependants.
Determiners: a(n), some, the, this, your
Attributive adjectives: A beautiful, wise man; Have a nice day!
Adjective phrases and participial phrases: extremely beautiful, made of glass
Noun adjuncts: university student, my mother’s maiden name, bank account, fur coat, a four-hour flight, a few 19th-century books, post-war society
Prepositional phrases: the meeting in the dining room, a dog on the loose
Adnominal adverbs and adverbials: Can yousee the girl over there in a beautiful blue dress?
Infinitive phrases: the desireto perform well
Relative clauses: the man who discovered penicillin
That clauses (functioning as complements to the noun): the factthat God exists
Word order in noun phrases
Building noun phrases might seem complicated at first; but, with a little practice, using them will soon come naturally to you.
Premodifiers consist of single adjectives, adjective phrases, single nouns and noun phrases which come before the head in a noun phrase.
Determiner + Noun: the man, a town
Quantifier + noun: Some people are capable of doing a lot of work.
Determiner + adjective + noun: my beautiful and smart children
Quantifier + determiner + noun: all these children
Quantifier + determiner + adjective + noun: all (of) my dear neighbours
There are, as well, words and phrases, called postmodifiers, which are used after the noun.
Adverb phrases: an inn nearby
Prepositional phrase: the girl in a beautiful blue dress, a tall man with white hair
An -ing phrase: the boy playing the piano and the girl singing with the voice of an angel
A to-infinitive: Here is somethingto muse on!
A relative clause: the manwho discovered penicillin
A that clause: the factthat God exists
Another provisional conclusion
Now that we have shed light on another topic, expanding our knowledge of English, I’d like to tell you that your proposals on what other topics to tackle and new shores to reach, in our educational journey, are more than welcome.