English 362: Ch. 9 Nouns that Modify Nouns

Heyo pwips! Since there seemed to be some confusion about this in class, here’s some more instruction on nouns that modify nouns.

We know that adjectives and prepositional phrases can modify nouns-but so can other nouns. Take, for example, the phrase “chicken soup bowl.” The entire phrase is clearly an NP, with the head noun being “bowl.” But what about “chicken soup?”

To break it down further, we know that “chicken soup” is a noun phrase on its own. This means that there must be at least two NPs branching off the original NP node, like in the figure below.

GSWE PWP example 1

Because it is a part of the original NP, we know that the function of “chicken soup” must be “Modif of ‘bowl.'”

However, we still have an NP made up of 2 nouns, which we can break down further.  Because there are two distinct nouns in the phrase, each noun must get another NP node, as shown in the figure below.

GSWE PWP example 2

Now that all of the forms are sorted, we just need to figure out the functions. One of the two nouns in “chicken soup” must be the head noun. Because the function of that NP is “Modif of ‘bowl,'” we know that the head noun’s function must also be to modify bowl.

The word “chicken” does not seem to modify bowl. “Chicken bowl” is not a common phrase. “Chicken,” however, can modify “soup.” “Chicken soup” is a phrase, as chicken describes the type of soup.

If chicken is not the head noun, that means it must be “soup.” This fits, as “soup bowl” is a common enough phrase. “Soup” describes what the bowl is used for. Its function must be “Modif of ‘bowl,'” as shown in the figure below.

GSWE PWP example 3


Congrats! We successfully diagrammed nouns modifying nouns. You can do this with other constructions. Just remember to break the nouns down by phrases with each phrase getting a new NP node until you are left with one word phrases.

English 362: Chapter 8: Kinds of Nouns

Heyo Pwips! Lets talk about the different kinds of nouns that exist:

Proper Nouns

These nouns are usually names. They can refer to a specific person, place, institution, etc.


Cheyenne, The Great Wall of China, The University of Wisconsin, Jack Sparrow, Lady Mary, Yellowstone National Park, Mr. Handsome, Dr. Seuss, Reepicheep


Mass and Count Nouns

There is a mass/count distinction that separates nouns that can be individually counted from nouns that come in masses of material.

Examples of Count Nouns:

Scissors, book, hobbit, light saber, top hat, Pwips, cars

Examples of Mass Nouns:

Sugar, air, happiness, patriotism, magic

Concrete vs Abstract Nouns

Concrete nouns are nouns that are tangible or perceptible. Abstract nouns usually refer to qualities, ideas, and activities.

Examples of Concrete:

puppies, rain, Sponge Bob Square Pants, hair, slime, butterfly, trash cans

Examples of Abstract:

Love, fear, flying, confessions, grammar, graduation


English 362: Chapter 8: Special Plurals

Heyo Pwips! Let’s talk about plurals!

Most nouns are made plural by simply adding -s to the end. However, there are some special English  nouns and nouns that come from Latin or Greek that we use. These nouns do not follow the pattern of simply adding -s. Lets take a look at the singular and the plural forms of these nouns.

Special English Plurals:

  • child=children
  • Woman=women
  • man=men

There are also special plurals for common animals

  • bull/cow=cattle
  • sheep=sheep
  • mouse=mice
  • deer=deer


Latin and Greek Plurals

Latin and Greek nouns sometimes form their plurals based on Latin and Greek rules. Here are examples of such plurals:

Words that end in –us usually make their plurals in –i

  • fungus=fungi
  • nucleus=nuclei
  • focus=foci
  • alumnus=alumni

Words that end in –a, have a plural –ae

  • alumna=alumnae
  • emerita=emeritae

Words that end in –um (Latin) or –on (Greek) form their plural in -a

  • erratum=errata
  • criterion=criteria
  • corrigendum=corrigenda

Exception: Often writers identify the -a plural of this type as the singular form. For example, criteria and phenomena are often used as singular nouns (the criteria/the phenomena is…) but not always. Agenda, however, has become a singular form. (see page 149)

Words that end in –is form the plural with –es.

  • crisis=crises
  • analysis=analyses


English 362: Ch. 8: Determiners

Heyo pwips, let’s talk determiners!


Central Determiners

  • May be articles, demonstratives, or possessive pronouns
    • Articles: a, an, the
    • Demonstratives: this, that, these, those
    • Possessive pronouns: his, her, their, our, your, its
  • Forms: Art, Dem, Pron
  • Function: Det



  • Come before Central Determiner
  • May be quantifiers or a link
    • Quantifiers:
      • Quantifiers: all, none, few, many, some, both
      • Multipliers: twice, double, three times
      • Fractions: half, one third
    • Links:
      • The word “of” in the determiner phrase has the function of a link
      • “Of” forms a Preposition by itself and does not have a PrepComp
  • Forms: Quantifier, Preposition
  • Functions: PreDet, Link



  • Come after Central Determiner
  • May be cardinal numbers, ordinal numbers,  or two quantifiers
    • Cardinal numbers: one, two, three
    • Ordinal numbers: first, second, third
    • Quantifiers: few, many
  • Forms: Numeral, Quantifier
  • Functions: PostDet

English 362, Chapter 8: Personal Pronouns

  • Heyo Pwips! We are on to chapter 8! In this chapter we will focus on the noun phrase. An important element of the noun phrase is the pronoun. Pronouns are substitutes for noun phrases (they take the place of a noun). There are several types of pronouns, but the set called personal pronouns are the core of this pronoun system.

Personal Pronouns:

Personal Pronouns have four aspects to their forms: Person, Gender, Number, and Case

Person refers to first-person form, second-person form, and third-person form.

Gender: The third person personal pronouns have masculine and feminine forms (he, she, his, her, him, etc.)

Number: refers to the fact that pronouns have singular and plural forms

Case: a distinction that refers to how a word functions in the sentence.

There are 3 types of case: Nominative (means the word functions as a subject in the sentence), Objective (means the word functions as an object of some kind) and Possessive (means the word indicates possession).

Now let’s look at examples of these pronoun forms:

Personal Pronouns in Nominative Case:
  • First person singular—I
  • First person, plural—we
  • Second person, singular—you
  • Second person, plural—you
  • Third person, singular—he, she, it
  • Third person, plural—they


Personal Pronouns in Objective Case
  • First person, singular–me
  • First person, plural—us
  • Second person, singular—you
  • Second person, plural—you
  • Third person, singular—him, her, it
  • Third person, plural—them



Personal Pronouns in Possessive Case
  • First Person, singular—my
  • First person, plural—our
  • Second person, singular—your
  • Second person, plural—your
  • Third person, singular—his, her, its
  • Third person, plural—their


Our family turns into a flock of swindling, mafia vultures when it comes to left over dessert!

That is my pumpkin pie!

Mom put your pie in the fridge.

In my family, you have to mark your food, hide it, and play guard patrol during mealtimes.

There is a special sub-category of Possessive Pronouns: Independent Possessive Pronouns

  • First Person, singular—mine
  • First person, plural—ours
  • Second person, singular—yours
  • Second person, plural—yours
  • Third person, singular—his, hers
  • Third person, plural—theirs

These are independent because they can stand alone in a sentence and don’t have a following noun that they refer to like the previous possessive pronouns:

That pie is mine.

Yours is in the fridge.



English 362: Mid-Term Review

Heyo pwips! Let’s review diagramming for your BIG SCARY MIDTERM.  With a little bit of review, it’ll be a piece of cake!

Here are the steps you should follow when diagramming.

  1. Determine the Subj.
    • The Subj will be an NP. Any phrases that modify the noun will be a part of the phrase. This includes determiners, adjective phrases, and prepositional phrases that modify the noun.
  2. Determine the PredPhr.
    • The PredPhr will always start with the VP and may have elements that follow.
  3. Determine any non-core elements.
    • Recall that non-core elements may be moved to either end of the sentence and will still make sense.
    • Non-core elements come in the forms of PrepPhr and AdvPhr.
    • Adjuncts introduce a topic or insert the writer’s view of the subject. Ex: In my opinion, Frankly
    • Adverbials set up a time, place, or manner. Ex: On Thursday
  4. Determine the VP in the PredPhr.
    • VPs will include auxiliary verbs, and the forms of all aux verbs is Aux.
    • Modals will be on the farthest left. They are words such as may, could, should. They do not carry tense and are followed by the bare form of the next verb. Their function is “Modal of____,” in which the blank is filled by the next verb that follows.
    • Perfect aspect will be the next auxiliary verb, and it does carry tense. This requires a form of has (had, have) and the -en form of the next verb that follows. Its function is “Perf of ____,” in which the blank is filled by the next verb that follows.
    • Progressive aspect will be the next verb. It may carry tense if it is the farthest verb to the left that can. It requires a form of be (is, am, are) and is followed by the -ing form of the next verb that follows. Its function is “Prog of ___,” in which the blank is filled by the next verb that follows.
    • The final possible verb is the lexical verb. It will have a form of V and a function of Pred.
  5. Determine any elements in the PredPhr.
    • Additional elements in the PredPhr may include DOs, IOs, OCs, SCs, and ACs. Refer to Olivia’s previous post about sentence patterns to determine when to use what.

That’s it pwips! Good luck!

English 362: Chapter 7: 2 New Sentence Patterns

Heyo Pwips! Let’s look at our two new sentence patterns!

So far we’ve had the following patterns:






This chapter, we are adding 2 more:



Remember that AC stands for “adverbial complement”. The difference between these two sentence patterns is that one (S-V-AC) represents a sentence with an intransitive verb, and the other (S-V-DO-AC) represents a sentence with a transitive verb. Remember that a transitive verb always has direct objects (DO). Oppositely, an intransitive verb does not.


Snoopy crept under the bed.

This sentence is an example of S-V-AC with the PrepPhr “under the bed” functioning as an AC.

Charlie Brown kicked the football into the tree.

This sentence is an example of S-V-DO-AC with “the football” functioning as DO, and “into the tree” functioning as AC.


English 362 Ch. 7: Prepositional Phrases – Phrasal Verbs

Hey pwips! Now that Olivia has gone over regular prepositional phrases, let’s talk about those pesky phrasal verbs.

Criteria for a Phrasal Verb

As we discussed in class, the best way to test if a verb is phrasal is to move it around the noun phrase.

We blew up the tree ——-> We blew the tree up

If the preposition can be moved around the noun phrase, it is phrasal. If the preposition cannot be moved, then it is an ordinary prepositional phrase with a Prep and an NP/PrepComp.

Why is it important to know if a preposition is phrasal or not?

A phrasal preposition is diagrammed differently from a regular prepositional phrase. A phrasal preposition does not have a PrepComp. This means that any NP after a phrasal preposition is not a part of the PrepPhr, and will most likely be a DO.

A PrepPhr with a phrasal preposition will only be composed of that preposition. The nodes will go as follows:

PredPhr-> PrepPhr -> Prep

The function of a phrasal preposition will often be AdvComp.