Noun groups



In this lesson we’re going to learn the details of how we write about things.

You probably know that a noun is a thing. For example:


The Fantastic Mr FoxRoald DahlSource

Smoke is a noun. Easy!


Wait a minute—is it a noun or is it a verb?

To answer that, we need more information. For example:

The smoke

The Fantastic Mr FoxRoald DahlSource

That one extra word gives us the context we need to know that we are talking about a thing and not an action.

It gives us the beginnings of what we call a noun group or nominal group.

But this noun group can get more elaborate:

The smoke from the three guns

The Fantastic Mr FoxRoald DahlSource

And more elaborate still:

The wisps of smoke from the three guns




The “thing” at the heart of this noun group is smoke, but the other words clarify which smoke we’re talking about, and what aspect of it we’re focusing on.

Noun groups can get actually get quite long and complicated, but they do follow simple rules—and those rules are what we’ll learn about in this lesson.

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