A noun phrase consists of a noun and all its modifiers. It can function as a subject, object, or complement in the sentence. The modifiers may include articles, prepositions and adjectives.



(a) Noun phrases as subjects

The lazy old man sleeps all day long.

Some school boards reward teachers who produce good results.

(b) Noun phrases as objects

Teachers rejected the proposed performance contracts.

Critics opposed the controversial marriage bill.

(c) Noun phrases as complements

Teaching is a valuable profession.

Sheila is a hardworking no-nonsense lady.



Identify the noun phrases in each of the following sentences and indicate whether it functions as a subject, object or complement.

  1. I saw a TV show yesterday.
  2. Playful animals really fascinate me.
  3. Yesterday, I had a thrilling adventure.
  4. Swimming is an exciting activity.
  5. Twenty university students were expelled last month.
  6. She is a certified public health officer.
  7. Many of the soldiers were killed in the battle.
  8. The old woman carried a heavy load of firewood on her back.
  9. Peter seems a very complicated man to understand 10. A devastating earthquake hit China yesterday.




  1. A TV show – object
  2. Playful animals – subject
  3. A thrilling adventure – object
  4. An exciting activity – complement
  5. Twenty university students – subject
  6. A certified public health officer – complement
  7. Many of the soldiers – subject
  8. The old woman – subject, a heavy load – object
  9. A very complicated man – complement
  10. A devastating earthquake – subject



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