Noun Phrases

What Are Noun Phrases? (with Examples)

A noun phrase is a phrase that plays the role of a noun. The head word in a noun phrase will be a noun or a pronoun. In the examples below, the whole noun phrase is shaded and the head word is in bold. Compare the three examples above to these: In these three examples, the words in bold are all pronouns. The ability to replace the noun phrases in the first three examples with a pronoun proves that the shaded texts are functioning as nouns, making them noun phrases.

Like any noun, a noun phrase can be a subject, an object, or a complement.

Examples of Noun Phrases

Noun phrases are extremely common. A noun with any sort of modifier (including just a number or an article) is a noun phrase. Here are some examples of noun phrases:

A Quick Test


Not all grammarians agree on the definitions of clauses and phrases. For some, the term phrase covers everything. In other words, for them, a clause is a type of phrase, and a single word is just a short phrase. Here at Grammar Monster, we go with the following: Therefore, in our book, the first shaded text is a noun clause, and the second is a noun phrase: If you have a view on this, please tell us using this form.

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See Also

What is a phrase? What is a clause? What are nouns? What are noun clauses? What is the subject of a sentence? What is an object? What is a complement? What is a direct object? What is the object of a preposition? Glossary of grammatical terms