Grammar in EAP

Structure of nominal groups

Postmodification

A typical nominal group is structured in the following way:

determiner

premodifier

head

postmodifier

a

complicated

solution

to the problem

 

Nouns (which themselves can be nominalisations) can be premodified or postmodified (qualified):

noun + postmodifier

relative clause - students who have no previous experience

to-clauses - the solution to the problem of inflation, the question to be debated

ing-clauses - a brake consisting of a drum divided into twelve compartments

ed-clauses - canoes preserved by a hard plaster, a brake consisting of a drum divided into twelve compartments, the curve shown

prepositional phrase (preposition + nominal group)- we need to bring to the box a special tool with a ready-compressed spring

adverb (or adverbial group) - the road back, the people outside the station

adjective (or adjectival group) - varieties common in India, the festival proper, something different

Exercises

Exercise: Identifying Postmodifiers

that complement clause - the news that the research had succeeded was unexpected

to-infinitive complement clause -  the failure to provide him with adequate research facilities

of + ing complement clause - the possibility of increasing dollar receipts

wh- complement clauses - the question (of) whether there remained a distinctive philosophy of liberalism

Grammar: Complement Postmodification