Saturday, July 9, 2011


Read the following sentences:
01. All those self-taught boys were very clever.
02. A blooming flower is beautiful to look at.
03. A growing child needs nutritious food.
04. A sleeping lion cannot catch a prey.
05. Don’t put your hand in boiling water.
06. Don’t sit on a broken chair.
07. The girl is nursing the wondered bird.
08. We saw the men looking out hopelessly.

The words or phrases all, those, self-taught, blooming, growing, sleeping, boiling, broken, wounded, and looking out hopelessly are used placed before or after the nouns. Hence these are also called Noun Modifiers.

There are two types of Modifiers.
01) Premodifier.
02) Post-modifiers.
01) A modifier which precedes a Noun is called Premodifier.
a) A blooming flower.
b) A broken chair.
02. A modifier which follows a Noun is called Post-modifiers.
a) We saw the men looking out hopelessly.

Various types and uses of Premodifiers

There are different types of Premodifiers.
i) Predeterminers as Premodifiers.
All the boys were present in the class.
Both the books are out of print.
ii) Determiners as Premodifiers.
The boys and girls are walking side by side.
Those boys and girls are very intelligent.
iii) Present participle (ingparticiple) as Premodifiers.
A darkening sky may bring showers.
The cloud brings showers for the thirsting flowers.
A life of increasing labour and decreasing leisure is the characteristic of modern civilization.
iv) Past Participle (ed/en-participle) as Premodifiers.
The injured cat is limping.
A burnt child dreads the fire.
The ants eat their stored food in winter.
The worried man could not attend the guests.
He did not like to live in the haunted house.
v) Adjectives as Premodifiers.
A lazy man cannot be an early riser.
A clever boy like you cannot do such a foolish work.
An intelligent girl worked out the sum in a few minutes.
vi) Nominal Compound as Premodifiers.
She is a record-breaking typist.
Mark the wheat-producing countries in the map.
Try to use this lobour-saving method.
You should be aware of the New York bus routes.
A low cost house is not easily available in London.
vii) Noun for a Noun Modifier:
The school Inspector came on a surprise visit.
I’m going to my country house.

Various types and uses of Post-modifiers

There are different types of post-modifiers.
i) Present Participle phrases as post-modifiers.
I found an old woman standing at the door.
I used to watch the flower plant growing everybody.
The students working in the laboratory is very brilliant.
ii) Past Participle phrases as Post-modifier.
I say a man injured by an accident.
He has got the money sent by his father.
I have got the latter written by you.
iii) “To” Infinitive phrases as Post-modifier.
She got a nice pen to write with.
Here is a chair to sit on.
I am the last man to leave the place.
iv) Adjective phrases as Post-modifier.
A man with white beard came here yesterday.
He is man of great honour.
v) Nominal clause as Appositive used as Post- modifiers.
The report that he was murdered is true.
Our hope that he would come back home proved false.
vi) Relative clause as Post-modifiers.
The boy who came here is my cousin.
This is the place where he was born.
I want a car that I can drive.

Noun Modifiers & Nominal Groups

Now, we see a Noun may be modified by:
i) the words before the Head Noun—Premodifiers.
ii) the words after the head Noun—Post-modifiers.

Head Noun
i) Predetermines
ii) Determiners
iii) Present Participles
iv) Past Participles
v) Adjectives
vi) Nominal Compounds
vii) Nouns

i) Present Participle Phrases
ii) Past Participle Phrases
iii) ‘To’ Infinitive Phrases
iv) Adjective Phrases
v) Nominal Clauses
vi) Relative Clauses

The whole group of words (the Head noun with its modifiers) is called a Nominal Group or a Noun cluster.
Nominal Group

All those tall                  girls                         with long hair
|                              |                                   |
Premodifier               Head Noun               Post modifier
danced at a big hall.

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