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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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2 Structuring noun groups

Noun groups are one type of word group. Nouns usually refer to a person, an animal, a thing, an event (a meeting) or process (for example, digestion), or a concept (in science, diversity). They can combine with articles, adjectives, adverbs and other nouns to form noun groups. Each noun group has one main noun which is the word that all the other words help to define.

For example

  their own private spaces in public areas

This noun group contains the noun spaces which is the main noun. Information before and after the main noun is used to define it. In this example, the adjectives placed before the main noun are used to specify which spaces (i.e. their, own, private) the writer is focusing on. The main noun can also be followed by information that further describes it. In this example, this information is ‘in public areas’.

Newspaper headlines often use noun groups to present a great deal of information in a limited space and as a way to get the reader’s attention:

Described image
Figure 1 Newspaper headlines