Grammar: Introduction Nouns

Grammar in EAP

Nouns and Nominal Groups

Introduction

Formal written English uses nouns and nominal groups (noun-based phrases) more than verbs.

One simple example is:

Like all other forms of life, we human beings are the product of evolution.

Like all other forms of life, we human beings are the product of how we have evolved.

The noun “evolution” is preferred to the verb “evolve” and the “wh” clause.

Another example is:

Premack used a set of plastic chips to teach a chimpanzee named Sarah the meaning of a set of symbols.

Premack used a set of plastic chips to teach a chimpanzee named Sarah what a set of symbols mean.

The meaning of the symbols” is preferred to “what the symbols mean

Try this exercise: Exercise

Evolution” is formed by a process of nominalisation, the process of forming a noun from some other word class. In this case the noun “evolution” is formed from the verb “evolve“.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
References