How to Write English Sentences using Noun Phrases
Introduction to Phrases
Phrases tend to be larger than individual words and are usually considered as expansions
of an individual word. Phrases are smaller than clauses or sentences as they do not have
subjects and predicates or subjects and verbs.
Phrase classifications are generally based on the headword, phrase function or
construction of the phrase. We refer to the central element in a phrase as the head of
the phrase. If the head is a noun then the phrase is usually called a noun phrase.
There is some overlap when describing phrases based on the either headword or function.
The headword can usually stand alone as a one-word phrase. The headword is the only part
that cannot be omitted from a phrase.
Phrases can modify or be incorporated into other phrases or a string of phrases. Phrases
can be effectively used to show complex relationships between objects or abstracts.
For most writing purposes noun phrases can be treated as single grammatical units
performing the work of a noun in the sentence. Noun phrases may serve as subjects, direct
objects, indirect objects, complements or objects of prepositions.
A noun phrase is a phrase whose head is a noun or a pronoun accompanied by modifiers.
Noun headword pre-modifiers include determiners, articles, demonstratives, numerals,
possessives and quantifiers. The noun headword post-modifiers can be complements, other
phrases or relative clauses.
Noun Phrases Examples:
The hockey coach is happy. (Noun phrase as subject.)
My best friend's father drove us. (Noun phrase as possessive.)
We saw a very small dog. (Noun phrase as a direct object)
Shirley gave the tall girl the file. (Noun phrase as an indirect object)
He wants to become a goalie. (Noun phrase as a complement)
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For additional English writing tips and examples go to the following links
How to write English Sentences - Introduction
How to write English Sentences - start with a basic thought
How to write English Sentences - choose one of the six basic sentence constructions
How to write English Sentences - choose one of the four sentence types
How to write English Sentences - choose the correct English verb tenses
How to write English Sentences - choose the active or passive voice
How to write English Sentences using Nouns
How to write English Sentences using Noun Phrases
How to write English Sentences using Articles
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