Noun Phrase

A phrase is a collection of words without a subject or predicate. The phrase is the fundamental building block of English grammar.

A noun phrase is a group of words that perform the function of a noun.

Examples of Noun Phrase

Noun Phrase Definition


A noun phrase is a group of words that function as nouns. It can be a subject or object/complement of a verb.

  • All his kith and kin left him.
  • Early to bed and early to rise to make a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
  • To do the sum is trouble.

Nouns and Noun Phrases


NounsNoun Phrases
Football is a good game.Playing football is a good game.
Reading is a good habit.Have you enjoyed reading this novel?
Your bed is ready.Early to bed is a healthy habit.

Uses of Noun Phrases


A Noun Phrase can be

(1) The subject of a verb; as-
A flock of sheep are grazing in the field. Early to rise is good for health. His getting this job is uncertain.

(2) The object of a verb; as-
She prefers living in a hostel. I have purchased a pair of black shoes.

(3) Subjective Complement; as-
Life is not a bed of roses. She seems to be a wicked woman.

(4) Objective Complement; as-
They made him captain of the club.

(5) Prepositional Complement; as-
She works in my office. She felt there like a fish out of water.

(6) In apposition to it/a Noun; as-
It is necessary to go home. The boy best in the class is my brother.


Understanding Noun Phrase With Examples


Read the following sentences:

  1. The woman wants something. [(Sub) + (Verb) + Noun]
  2. The woman wants something to eat. [(Sub + Verb) + NPhrase + Infinitive]
  3. Lisa took her supper. [(Sub + Verb) + Noun]
  4. Lisa took her supper early. [(Sub + Verb) + NPhrase + Adverb]
  5. Praising is a good virtue. [Noun as Sub + Verb]
  6. Praising all is equal to praising none. [NPhrase + Verb + Adjective + NPhrase]
  7. Mr Parker showed his student a computer. [(Sub + Verb) + Noun]
  8. Mr Parker showed his student how to assemble a computer. [with ‘how to’]

In each pair of sentences above, we first have a single noun followed by a group of words with the same expansion.

In the 1st sentence, ‘something‘ is a Noun and it is the object of the verb ‘wants‘. In the 2nd sentence, ‘something‘ to eat is also the object of the verb ‘wants‘. But it is a group of words and it acts as a Noun. It is, therefore, a Noun Phrase.

In the 4th sentence, ‘her supper early‘ is also the object of the verb ‘took‘. But it is a group of words and acts as a Noun. So, it is a Noun Phrase.

In the 5th sentence ‘praising‘ is a noun and it is the subject of the verb ‘is‘. In the 6th sentence ‘praising all‘ is also the subject of the verb ‘is‘. But it is a group of words and it acts as a Noun. Hence it is a Noun Phrase.

In the 8th sentence ‘how to assemble a computer‘ is also a Noun Phrase.


Also, Read


Phrases

Phrases

Infinitives

Infinitives

Gerund

Gerund

Determiners

Determiners

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