What is the grammatical name and function for this string?

  • the countless flashes of red from swords and spears
  • 2
    What do you mean by "name" and "function"?
    – alphabet
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 19:44
  • 1
    Give us a sentence.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 22:05

1 Answer 1


It's quite obviously a noun phrase — an NP in trade lingo.

And that’s all we can say about it. It has no grammatical function because it's freestanding. You have to actually use it as an actual syntactic constituent before we can discern its grammatical function. Right now, it has none.

NPs typically form the core arguments to a verb, so verbs’ subjects, complements, or objects. But NPs can also be used in other ways such as in apposition to another NP or as a prepositional object. People also often use NPs as a title, such as for a book or chapter or play or piece of artwork like a photo or a painting.

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