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Nouns. Pre-Modifiers. NOUNS – Pre Modifiers. What if a single noun isn't specific enough for our purposes? How then do we modify a noun to construct a more specific reference? . NOUNS – Pre Modifiers. HOUSE WHITE HOUSE MAN LARGE MAN. NOUNS – Pre Modifiers.

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Nouns pre modifiers
NOUNS – PreModifiers

What if a single noun isn't

specific enough for our

purposes? How then do we

modify a noun to construct a

more specific reference?

Nouns pre modifiers1
NOUNS – PreModifiers





Nouns pre modifiers2
NOUNS – PreModifiers

  • Modificationis a somewhat technical term in linguistics. It does not mean to change something, as when we "modify" a car or dress. To modify means to limit, restrict, characterize, or otherwise focus meaning. We use this meaning throughout the discussion here.

Nouns pre modifiers3
NOUNS – PreModifiers

Modifiers before the noun are called

pre-modifiers. All of the pre-

modifiers that are present and the

noun together form a noun phrase .

Nouns pre modifiers4
NOUNS – PreModifiers

The most common pre-modifiers are adjectives,

such as red , long , hot . Other types of words

often play this same role.

Not only articles - the       water

        but also verbs - running      water

     and possessive pronouns - her      thoughts

Nouns pre modifiers5
NOUNS – PreModifiers

Pre-modifiers limit the reference in a wide variety of ways.

Order: second, last

Location: kitchen, westerly

Source or Origin: Canadian

Color: red, dark

Smell: acrid, scented

Material: metal, oak

Size: large, 5-inch

Weight: heavy

Luster: shiny, dull

Nouns pre modifiers6
NOUNS – PreModifiers

Some noun phrases are short:


Some are long:

the second shiny red Swedish touring sedan

a large smelly red Irish setter

my carved green Venetian glass saladbowl


Nouns pre modifiers7
NOUNS – PreModifiers

Each construction would function as a single unit within a sentence.

The noun phrase is the most common unit in English sentences.

Nouns pre modifiers8
NOUNS – PreModifiers

See how much you can expand a pre-modifier in a noun phrase:


the history book

the American history book

the illustrated American history book

the recent illustrated American history book

the recent controversial illustrated American historybook

the recent controversial illustrated leather bound American history book