Noun-Phrase Structure

As the preceding discussion shows, some nouns can appear alone in a noun phrase, without a determiner or any other word. These nouns include many proper nouns, mass nouns, plural count nouns, and pronouns. (Remember, we are treating pronouns as a subtype of nouns.) Diagrams of such phrases are about as simple as they come:

simple NP diagrams[1]

Only a little more complex is the case of a noun appearing with a determiner. Determiners are extremely common in noun phrases. You will encounter a great many noun phrases that contain them. If you are still unclear about the category of determiner, you may want to review the relevant section of chapter 3 at this point

NP diagrams with determiners


[1] For the purposes of diagrams in this course, we will label proper nouns as “PropN” and pronouns as “Pro,” although it would be equally correct (although less specific) to label then as “N”. We will not distinguish mass from count nouns in the diagram.