Noun phrases Common Nouns

Noun phrases

A noun phrase is a noun plus any of the other words around it that add information or detail to that noun. This presentation explains noun phrases and how to expand them.

A noun phrase has the noun as its main word plus any other words that are linked to it. These other words include determiners. They say which noun it is, e.g. a cake; my cake; that cake.

There is often more than one noun phrase in a sentence. Can you find the nouns and their determiners in these sentences?

What do you have in your bedroom or in another room where you live? Make some noun phrases to describe them, including a determiner, e.g. my bed; a lamp; some books; the wardrobe.

A noun phrase can have one or more adjectives, e.g. a coat can be expanded to a nice coat or a new, blue coat. Any adjectives that come before a noun are part of its noun phrase.

Make a noun phrase that uses two adjectives for each picture. The first one has been done.

Try to describe some things in your classroom using as many adjectives as you can. Can you beat your partner? Write down your noun phrases, remembering to use commas to separate two or more adjectives, e.g. a big, colourful poster.

You can use one noun to say what type another noun is, e.g. the nouns garden and gate make garden gate. The first noun in a pair like this is called a noun modifier and it can also be part of a noun phrase, e.g. that rusty garden gate.

Here are six nouns. Put them into three pairs, each making one thing. Can you think of an adjective you could use with each one?

Many noun modifiers tell you what the main noun is made of, e.g. brick wall; gold ring. Think of some nouns that are made from these materials and put them in a noun phrase: leather / cotton / tin / silk / plastic.

You can make a noun phrase more interesting by adding a prepositional phrase. This is a preposition, such as with, paired with another noun phrase, such as a hairy coat. When put together, they could be used to expand the noun phrase a dog to a dog with a hairy coat.

Make expanded noun phrases that include these prepositional phrases. Try to include some adjectives as well.

How many animals in a zoo can you describe using a prepositional phrase? Make noun phrases about them, e.g. a fierce tiger with a stripy coat.

We usually use adverbs with verbs, e.g. he ran slowly. However, there are some adverbs, such as very, really and quite, that are used with adjectives, e.g. pretty can become very pretty. You will often see these adverbs in nouns phrases, e.g. a very pretty dress.

Here are some adverbs. Which ones would you use in these noun phrases?

Think of a character - a hero or a villain - and make a noun phrase about them. Use an adverb with an adjective to make them more heroic or more scary, e.g. an absolutely terrifying giant. You could use one of these adverbs: really / very / utterly / totally / extremely / incredibly.

Well done!

  • I know what a noun phrase is
  • I can use more than one adjective in a noun phrase
  • I can use a noun modifier in a noun phrase
  • I can expand a noun phrase with a prepositional phrase
  • I can use an adverb in a noun phrase