Saturday, 2 November 2013

Speakout Advanced p 33. Noun Phrases. Grammar



UNIT 3: 3.1 GRAMMAR- NOUN PHRASES
NOUN PHRASES
What is a noun phrase?
A noun phrase is a phrase which includes:
1.      a noun (also called head)
2.      and optionallymodifiers.
Examples:
·         Love is a beautiful feeling. (Love is a noun phrase without modifiers. However, a beautiful feeling is a noun phrase that includes a noun, feeling, and the determiner a and the adjective beautiful)
·         My house is over there. (My house is a noun phrase which consists of the noun house and a modifier - the possessive adjectivemy)
Possible noun modifiers
A noun phrase may optionally contain noun modifiers. If these modifiers are placed before the noun they are called pre-modifiers. However, if they are placed after the noun, they are called post-modifiers. Possible noun modifiers include the following:
1. Determiners
    A determiner is one of the following:
·         an article (the, a, an)
·         quantifier (some, few, a few, many, etc.)
·         possessive (my, your, whose, the man's, etc.)
·         demonstrative (this, that, these, those)
·         numeral (one, two, three etc.)
·         question word (which, whose, how many, etc.).


 Except in some very rare cases, a noun can only be preceded by ONE determiner:

   Examples: 

the man, some women, a few dogs, your horse, the man's horse*, that car, whose money, how many bottles?

(In this example, the man's horse* there appear to be two determiners before horse, but in fact there is only one: the determiner before horse is the man, and the article the is the determiner of the word  man.)

In English, determiners are usually placed before the noun;
2. adjectives (the delicious food)
3. complements, in the form of a prepositional phrase (such as: the student of physics), or a That-clause (the idea  that the world is a small village )
Other parts of a noun group

A noun group can also contain one or more modifiers; a modifier is an adjective, an adjectival phrase, a secondary noun, a prepositional phrase or a relative clause
The principal noun in a noun group is called the head noun.

  • Adjectives are placed before the head noun: as in the Great Gatsby
       
    (Click here for  How to place adjectives in the right order)
  • Adjective phrases usually come before the head noun:  as in:
        
    black-and-white striped vest
        a 
    rather tight-fitting dress


NOTE: There is a general order of adjectives:
Determiner
Opinion
Size
Shape
Age
Colour
Pattern
Origin
Material
Compound 
Noun
A/An
Some
The
Four
daring
 nice

dirty 

famous

  
small
large

 square
young

old
new

brown

green


striped

English
French
Spanish


wooden
metal

Kitchen
garden

medical
man
table
chair


school
For reasons of style, three or four adjectives are usually the maximum to be grouped together. When this happens, they generally follow the order in the box:

                large old wooden table
                four green metal garden chairs
  • Secondary nouns behave exactly like adjectives, and  come before the head noun:
     
    beer glass,  the police inspector,  a London bus
  • Prepositional phrases and relative clauses follow the head noun, as in:
       
    the students in our class   or  the girl who gave me her phone-number.
Put all this together, and we get a complex noun group, such as:

   The
 nice old-fashioned police inspector with white hair, who was drinking his beerwas Mr. Morse.

Some common exceptions
Sometimes an adjective or an adjectival phrase will follow the noun, or appear to do so. There are three cases that need to be noted:

  • A very few adjectives always follow the noun: concerned (in the sense of "being talked about"), and involved (in the sense of "participating", or "being present") are the two common ones.
  • Other participial adjectives (such as left, remaining, missing) appear to be used as adjectives that follow the noun; in reality, they are elliptical forms of a relative clause that has become reduced to a single word.
  • Adjectives follow the noun when the adjectives themselves are post-modified (defined) by a following phrase.
Examples.
     There's been an outbreak of flu, but there are only fifteen people 
concerned
     After the fight, the police arrested the men 
involved.
      Oh look !there is only one chocolate 
left !!
      We can't go yet !! There are still three people 
missing.  
      There was a crowd 
bigger than last year.
Functions of a noun phrase
Noun phrases can function as subjectsobjects:
1.    That sophisticated woman is beautiful. (That sophisticated woman is a noun phrase that functions as a subject.)
2.    I like the book that you bought. (the book that you bought is a noun phrase that functions as an object.)
3.    Noun phrase heads are words that function as the heads of noun phrases. A noun phrase consists of a noun or pronoun plus any determiners, modifiers, and complements.
4.    Noun phrase head is a grammatical function.
5.    The grammatical forms that can function as the noun phrase head in English grammar are nouns and pronouns.

Related link: HERE

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