Noun Phrases‏‎ in English Grammar

Parts Of Speech

When we use nouns, we often use them with one or more other words to make a noun phrase.

A noun phrase therefore is a group of words which contains a noun and one or more words that describe it further.

Very often we put a determiner‏‎ in front of the noun to make a noun phrase:

{determiner} + {noun}

a banana

the house

   some people

And we often add adjectives to tell us more about the noun:

{determiner} + {adjective} + {noun}

a big banana

the old house

   some angry people

As well as the noun phrases above we can put two nouns together. In this case the first noun acts like an adjective and gives us more information about the second noun:

{noun} + {noun}

computer program

   music player

A noun phrase can also consists of a possessive noun and a noun or a possessive adjective and a noun:

{possessive noun} + {noun}

Uncle Tom’s house

the Jeffersons’ house

the young doctor’s house

    {possessive adjective} + {noun}

my house

our house

his house

A noun phrase acts just like a single noun in a sentence‏‎. All these sentences follow the same pattern:

{noun phrase} + {verb}

The woman smiled.

The woman in the conical hat smiled.

The woman in the palm-leaf conical hat smiled.

The toothless woman in the palm-leaf conical hat smiled.

The old toothless woman in the palm-leaf conical hat smiled.

Useful Links

Nouns in English Grammar – all there is to know about nouns.

Determiners‏‎ in English Grammar – what they are exactly + examples.

Adjectives‏‎ in English Grammar – form, types, position.

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  1. John Convert

    An insightful post clarifying Noun phrases. Thanks

    • Pete West

      Glad to hear you found it useful!