Noun Phrases

Often a noun phrase is just a noun or a pronoun:

People like to have money.
I am tired.
It is getting late.

or a determiner and a noun …:

Our friends have bought a house in the village.
Those houses are very expensive.

… perhaps with an adjective:

Our closest friends have just bought a new house in the village.

Sometimes the noun phrase begins with a quantifier:

All those children go to school here.
Both of my younger brothers are married
Some people spend a lot of money.


Quantifiers come before determiners, but numbers come after determiners:

My four children go to school here. (All my children go to school here.)
Those two suitcases are mine. (Both those suitcases are mine)

So the noun phrase is built up in this way:

Noun: people; money
Determiner + noun: the village, a house, our friends; those houses
Quantifier + noun: some people; a lot of money
Determiner + adjective + noun: our closest friends; a new house.
Quantifier + determiner + noun: all those children;
Quantifier + determiner + adjective + noun: both of my younger brothers

The noun phrase can be quite complicated:

a loaf of nice fresh brown bread
the eight-year-old boy who attempted to rob a sweet shop with a pistol
that attractive young woman in the blue dress sitting over there in the corner

Match noun phrases to patterns

Some words and phrases come after the noun. These are called postmodifiers. A noun phrase can be postmodified in several ways. Here are some examples:

• with a prepositional phrase:

a man with a gun
the boy in the blue shirt
the house on the corner

• with an –ing phrase:

the man standing over there
the boy talking to Angela

• with a relative clause:

the man we met yesterday
the house that Jack built
the woman who discovered radium
an eight-year-old boy who attempted to rob a sweet shop

• with a that clause.
This is very common with reporting or summarising nouns like idea, fact, belief, suggestion:

He’s still very fit, in spite of the fact that he’s over eighty.
She got the idea that people didn’t like her.
There was a suggestion that the children should be sent home.

• with a to-infinitive.
This is very common after indefinite pronouns and adverbs:

You should take something to read.
I need somewhere to sleep.
I’ve got no decent shoes to wear.

There may be more than one postmodifier:

an eight-year old boy with a gun who tried to rob a sweet shop
that girl over there in a green dress drinking a coke


Match types of postmodifiers to phrases


There are four complex noun phrases in this section:

The accident happened at around 3pm on Wednesday. A man climbing nearby who saw the accident said “It was the most amazing rescue I have ever seen.” 42-year-old Joe Candler saw Miss Johnson’s fall along with his partner Fay Hamilton.

The rescue is the latest in a series of incidents on High Peak. In January last year two men walking on the peak were killed in a fall when high winds blew them off the mountain.



hello dudes
got a q:
in the sentence "Characters such as Mickey Mouse are still popular.", is "such as Mickey Mouse" a modifier for "characters"? if yes is it an appositive?
if not what is that? i teach English and i need to know exactly what role it has.
my 2nd q:
what part of speech is "such as"? a preposition or an adverbial particle?
waiting for answer...

Hello reasonfinder!
Let me answer your second question first. Such as is usually classed as an idiom - that is, a fixed expression which does not necessarily follow normal grammar rules.
It is therefore very difficult to decide whether it is a modifier in the strict grammatical sense - although by analogy with like, you could claim that it is.

I'd also note that this a very technical question, one which would simply confuse most of the learners I have taught!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Jeremy,
after searching i finally got "such as Micky Mouse" is not an appositive but a restrictive clause in that example.
i asked this on yahoo answer and there were a couple of kind of contradicting answers!(
now look at this:
Sports, such as hockey, are not allowed.
i know ", such as hockey," is a nonessential clause here. So i might call it a relative clause! but the problem is as far as i know a relative clause needs to make up from a relative pronoun and a sentence. however after such as only a noun phrase may go not a sentence.
yepp. confusing it is!
thx for ur answer and i'll be happy if u have some things to add.

Hello reasonfinder!
Glad you found a bit more information! As I said, it's an idiom, so normal grammatical definitions do not apply. It's certainly not a relative clause, for the reasons you outline; since it doesn't have a verb phrase, it's not really a clause at all. However, the comma rules work the same way as for defining and non-defining clauses.
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello , I'm a new user here, I found it is very useful site for learning English.
Please can you help me to find the word which used with (home )and the words used with (house )

Hi smarteyes,
Welcome to LearnEnglish! It's great to hear that you have found the site useful.
I'm afraid I'm not sure I understand your question. Do you mean to ask what the difference between the words house and home is? If so, home is a more personal word, which we use for a place that we have an emotional attachment to. The word house doesn't have such an emotional quality and so refers only to some kind of residence.
If I've not understood your question, please don't hesitate to ask us again!
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Please help me with these sentences. I do'nt know which one is correct sentence ( grammar tenses) or which is not. And which one is appropriate to use. For example i want to write a message to my friend on FB telling that i am happy to see her again because she visited me a week ago. Should i say

I am happy that i saw you again after long years. Or
I am happy that we see each other again after long years. Or
I were happy that i saw you again after long years.

And please explain the meaning of each sentence. Thank you in advance.

Hello Angilyn,
There are many ways to say it, but 'I was happy to see you again after so many years' is probably a good choice.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

I love this page
                    congrutulations all them who created this page.................

Hello Zoje,
Thank you! That's very kind.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team