Phrases which, as a unit, act as a noun; and whose heads are nouns or pronouns. English noun phrases can include (among many other possibilities) articles or determiners such as "the" and "a" and one or more adjectives or other nouns used attributively followed by the head noun itself.

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228
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5answers
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What is the rule for adjective order?

I remember being taught that the correct order of adjectives in English was something along the lines of "Opinion-Size-Age-Color-Material-Purpose." However, it's been a long time and I'm pretty sure ...
94
votes
6answers
100k views

“My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner”

I just stumbled upon a Reddit post titled: My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner. How does it look? Sure enough, the top comment immediately points out that it should be "my wife's and my"...
12
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4answers
1k views

“This box of matches is empty”

There are several Japanese books teaching Japanese students how to write in English. I found this example in 『英作文参考書の誤りを正す』 (Correcting Errors in English Composition Manuals) by Michio Kawakami and J....
12
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3answers
182 views

a [box [of apples] ] vs [a box] [of apples]

The standard linguistic analysis of the NP a box of apples is that we have a determiner (a) which acts on (modifies?) box of apples. (For an example of standard analysis, see e.g. Fig. 6 here). ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Why are “colleagues” becoming “work colleagues”?

I've noticed over the last few years that people who were formerly my colleagues have become my work colleagues. Does anyone know why this should be so? (Perhaps I should also mention that the ...
10
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2answers
278 views

Can predicative complements not be bare noun phrases in English? That is, are clauses such as “I am student” incorrect?

In Chapter 4 of the book A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar, written by Rodney Huddleston of the University of Queensland and Geoffrey K. Pullum of the University of Edinburgh and published ...
9
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1answer
971 views

When can a noun be used attributively?

Nouns can modify nouns: cat food, coffee cup, gold ring, laser surgery, flood insurance. It seems to me there are even cases where a noun sounds better than the corresponding adjective: sociology ...
9
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3answers
667 views

*all of us's friend

There's this funny gap I tried to write a paper once upon a time when I studied linguistics, and I'd like to know if anyone has insight into it. The construction in question is the possessive ...
7
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7answers
922 views

“I wish for a rest now”: what does “now” modify?

Consider this sentence: I am truly amazed by my success at this diagramming business, but I wish for a rest now. I think that the adverb "now" modifies "rest". But according to the answer page, ...
6
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5answers
2k views

Why is this sentence: “Additional nine features were added…” incorrect?

I am trying to explain to a colleague why the sentence: Additional nine features were added to the dig is incorrect. I have said you can say "An additional nine features...", "Nine additional ...
5
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5answers
1k views

“In person” equivalent for inanimate objects

This is much easier to explain by example. So you might hear someone say this photo of her is ok, but she looks much better in person. I am looking for the equivalent of "in person" that applies to ...
5
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2answers
2k views

If a noun phrase is made of two noun-like words that conjugate differently, then which conjugation do you use? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Neither Michael nor Albert is correct” or “Neither Michael nor Albert are correct”? Is “either you or [third-person]” followed by a ...
4
votes
3answers
451 views

Parsing of a compound noun with many words

How should I understand this phrase: "threat analysis model", which means: An analysis model of threat, or put in parentheses: (threat(analysis model) A model of threat analysis: (threat analysis (...
4
votes
2answers
73 views

Relative clauses: “I did the best I could.”

I did the best I could. The sentence above can be rephrased: I did the best that I could. In these two examples (that) I could is a relative clause. However, I am not sure whether it is ...
4
votes
3answers
837 views

apostrophe that goes with a noun which precedes a relative clause

Suppose you wanted to place a possessive apostrophe in this sentence: Billy, who goes to my school, favorite game is tag. I know it's not standard, but I can hear kids (or older) saying an s sound ...
4
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2answers
88 views

When parsing the noun phrase…which is modifying which?

Closest feeling to death is pain. The noun phrase is "closest feeling to death". But I don't know how to parse this sentence...there seem to be two ways to parse this sentence. A. {Closest [...
3
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4answers
2k views

Is there a word or a special phrase in English to describe the curvy upper lip that some people like Rio Ferdinand have?

I don't think many have people have that kind of upper lip (probably 10% of the population). To me personally, that kind of upper lip definitely makes a person more attractive regardless of gender. ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

When does the phrase “Some of us…” include the speaker?

I do not recall ever hearing anyone say "Some of us..." without including themselves. It appears to me that oneself is assumed to be part of the subject. However, some of is usually used to denote an ...
3
votes
1answer
398 views

Is “the many” grammatical? [closed]

The homework is as following As it stands, our rule allows just one determiner in an NP. NP → (D) (AdjP+) N (PP+) (CP) (PP+) How can we revise this rule to account for the following data: ...
3
votes
3answers
812 views

Englishman and British man

Why is it Englishman, Frenchman, etc. (one word) but British man (two words)?
3
votes
2answers
632 views

Is “hanging bats” a participial phrase, gerund phrase, or simple noun phrase?

In the sentence "Hanging bats populate most of the caves in North America," what is the role of "hanging bats"? I believe it is a simple noun phrase containing the participle "hanging" (which ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

When adding prefixes to noun phrases, should you hyphenate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? Using “non-” to prefix a two-word phrase When adding a prefix to a noun, I've been taught to usually ...
3
votes
2answers
397 views

Word order for subordinate questions

I know subordinate questions have no inversion. Should this sentence: "Do you know what are the good things to do around here?" be "Do you know what the good things are to do around here?...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Is it right to use 'Statesman' to modify an organization and corporation?

I found a case of using statesman in modifying AOL Inc. in the following sentence of New York Times (February 8). Statesman to me means a leading politician_ and I understand the word here was used ...
2
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2answers
600 views

The Order of Modification in English Nouns, Preceding or Succeeding? [closed]

As I don't know the exact linguistic terms, what I mean my "preceding" and "succeeding" in modifying nouns is as follows. Preceding : delicious food, long way, kind person, et cetera Succeeding : ...
2
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1answer
183 views

Fashionable photographers

I saw somewhere this quote from Wodehouse's Meet Mr. Mulliner (1927): "Statistics show that the two classes of the community which least often marry are milkmen and fashionable photographers – ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

Difference between an adverb modifying an NP consisting a single noun, and an adverb modifying a noun

Consider the following examples: The work is mostly Kim's. Only Kim resigned. A question some of us had (e.g. here and here) was, aren't these examples of adverbs modifying nouns (which they are not ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Plural of noun and concept takes singular verb?

Why does a pairing of a noun and phrase about it, specifically with a question word, take a singular verb? Generically: [Noun] and [idea about noun] [singular verb].† Example: Language ...
2
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2answers
71 views

What's the difference between “Speakers of English” and “English speakers”?

What's the difference between "Speakers of English" and "English speakers"?
2
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1answer
104 views

What kind of phrase is this? [manically across the stage]

In the sentence: At the beginning of the play, the entire cast dances maniacally across the stage. What kind of phrase is [manically across the stage]? Is it an adverb phrase, prepositional phrase or (...
2
votes
3answers
155 views

“He was neither seer nor prophet” How would you explain the absence of an article?

Here's a fragment from Jack London's Star Rover: Wordsworth knew. He was neither seer nor prophet, but just ordinary man like you or any man. What he knew you know, any man knows. But he most ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

Adverbs in noun phrase coordination

Consider the following example sentence: The ball often hit the tree and never the man. I am trying to represent this sentence as a constituency-based parse tree, but I am having a hard time ...
2
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1answer
56 views

A phrase consisting of a “floating” noun and some verbiage following it

The question is on phrases like the ones that begin the following sentences. (a) Her chin on the tabletop, she looked at me. (b) His back turned to the door, he was writing a letter. (c) ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Who came up with “mascara lights” on cars?

Mascara lights are LED daytime running lights or lamps, typically in a wavy or curved pattern: This photo shows DRLs on an Audi A4-B8: When and where did this term originate? Is it an Audi coinage?...
2
votes
1answer
254 views

Plural modifying noun [duplicate]

Where can I learn about the English rules for noun phrases in which a modifying noun is semantically plural? We say "Horse trainer," not "horses trainer", even though there is usually more than one ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Noun-adjective-noun: Can a noun phrase have an adjective in the middle?

Can a noun phrase have an adjective in the middle as in the following examples? car new tires salad high-calorie dressing house external wall nitrogen fine droplets These examples ...
1
vote
2answers
386 views

“Whomever runs it's” or “whomever runs its”?

I know that "its" is the possessive form of "it", but does this rule apply to the possessive form of phrases ending in "it"? Should I say, "the program runs on whomever runs its computer" or "the ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

Do these two sentences use the possessive case of gerunds properly?

Gerunds have proven to be adequate forms of "annoyances" to me and have thus led me to inquire their properties and uses. I would appreciate it if anyone could provide me with assistance in this ...
1
vote
2answers
919 views

Why is “thought” (verb III) a noun in “Nice thought”? [closed]

I often hear someone says, "Wow, that's such a nice thought!" Movies and books often have that kind of dialogue as well. As I figure it out, "a nice thought" is a noun phrase. Which means "nice" is ...
1
vote
2answers
429 views

Noun phrase after “show”

The following sentences all involve the verb "show" followed by a noun phrase. Number 6 sounds a bit weird, and the last one is just wrong — but why is that? The video shows the ...
1
vote
3answers
59 views

Word for academic fields that are aligned with a political movement or position?

Is there a word or phrase for academic fields that are aligned with a political movement or position? For example: Feminist studies is aligned with feminism. African American studies is closely ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What is the head noun in 'the number of' phrases?

What is the head noun in the noun phrase 'the number of koalas'? My concern is with the non-defining relative clause and the assignment of 'which' to one of the nouns in the NP. My sentences read: ...
1
vote
2answers
172 views

What do we call this noun phrase?

"My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his name? All this 'You-Know-Who' nonsense - for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his ...
1
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1answer
170 views

Discontinuous noun phrase and apposition involving object complements

I was wondering whether these uses of discontinuity are valid. Here are two uses I would like to question: The use of discontinuous noun phrase: [1a] He made the system useless that could have ...
1
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1answer
152 views

What is the difference between those two sentences (grammatically and in meaning)?

An inappropriate TV show for children should be banned on any type of channels. A TV show inappropriate for children should be banned on any type of channels. It seems to me that there is a ...
1
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1answer
53 views

Is “'as' + article + adjective + noun + 'as'” grammatically correct?

The sentiments expressed in the tweets can be as accurate a measure as is found with traditional telephone surveys. The sentence above is grammatically correct. I wonder if it is still ok when I ...
1
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2answers
433 views

Usage of definite articles in noun phrases

I am writing a research paper and English is my second language. I am fully confused with the usage of a/an/the in the noun phrases with the structure (noun of noun). for example, consider this ...
1
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2answers
27 views

The demand for the stock /The demand for stock or Demand for the stock?

Context: a stock (traded in a stock exchange) was defined prior to the appearance of the following sentence: The demand for the stock/the demand for stock/demand for the stock decreases significantly....
1
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1answer
95 views

Coordination of nouns with determiners

These sentences are from some data set used for evaluating programs that automatically process languages, but I am doubtful about their grammaticality. (1) A man and woman are talking (2) The boy and ...
1
vote
0answers
320 views

Stress on noun + noun phrases

When two nouns are combined, the stress is usually on the first noun, as in MILK bottle, DOG house, DOORknob, and POTATO salad. However, if the first noun denotes a place, the stress seems to be on ...