Noun and Verb Phrases

Noun Phrases

Noun Phrases are groups of words that can function as subjects or objects in sentences. They may take on various forms:

Water is important for survival.

(Single words)

Mr. Jones spoke to Dr. James.

(Proper names)

The boy ate an apple.

(Nouns and articles)

My friend works with her father.

(Nouns and possessives)

The young girl wore a long, white dress.

(Nouns and adjectives)

Some of the kids ate all of the cake.

(Nouns and quantifiers)

The man with the gun frightened the people in the bank.

(Nouns and prep. phrases)

The woman who lives there is my aunt.

(Nouns and relative clauses)

The dogs sleeping on the deck should be left alone.

(Nouns and phrases)

Whoever wrote this is in trouble.

(Noun clauses)

Pronouns and similar words can also function as subjects and objects:

He gave the money to us.
Someone left this.
Give me one of each.

Verb Phrases

Verb phrases are groups of words that express action or state of being. They take on
various forms.

The men live in the dormitory.

(Single verbs)

He stayed at the Hi Hat Hotel.

(Past tense verbs)

I am learning many new things.

(Progressive verbs)

She has been there before.

(Perfect verbs)

They have been working here five years.

(Perfect progressive verbs)

I could use some assistance.

(Verbs and modals)

The trip was approved by the professor.

(Passive verbs)

Do you want some more pie?

(Verbs in questions)

Other words can be added to enhance verb phrases:

The mayor works here.


Neil is not a candidate.


They live in the suburbs.

(prepositional phrases)

She'll leave whenever she wants.

(adverbial clauses)

Don't talk while eating.