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Using Nouns and Pronouns as Noun Phrase Heads

Using Nouns and Pronouns as Noun Phrase Heads

Traditional grammars define nouns as words that refer to people, places, things, and ideas. Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns and noun phrases. Pronoun is a subcategory of noun.

In English grammar, a noun phrase consists of a noun including a pronoun plus any determiners, modifiers, and complements. Nouns and pronouns always function as the head of a noun phrase. Examples of nouns and pronouns as noun phrase heads include the following:

  • the puppy (noun)
  • an ugly man with half a moustache (noun)
  • twelve angry busybodies whom she sent hate mail to (noun)
  • somebody to love (pronoun)
  • someone special (pronoun)
  • he who must not be named (pronoun)

Noun as Noun Phrase Head

Noun as Noun Phrase Head

Pronoun as Noun Phrase Head

Pronoun as Noun Phrase Head

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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