Tag Archives: Ch. 3

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: Ch. 3 & 4 Quiz Review

Quiz 2 is next Monday-are you ready? Here’s a quick review of what you need to know.

Ch. 3: Diagrams

  • Every diagram should have a subject and a predicate
  • The word that is the head of the phrase always has the same function as the entire phrase
  • A reminder about the different abbreviations used in diagrams is on page 45
  • Learn the definitions of nodes, and what it means to “dominate” and “immediately dominate” on page 50

Ch. 4: Sentences and Their Parts

  • Declarative statements: Subject-Verb
  • Imperatives: Bare Verb, no Subject
  • Interrogatives: Inversion of Auxiliary Verb and Subject
  • Hortatives: “Let’s” or “Let us”
  • Exclamatives and precatives: “How sweet” or “Lord help us”
  • Verbless Interrogatives: No Verb, “How about a piece?”
  • Fragments: Missing a Subject or Verb

Remember to check out our other posts for more information about these topics, and to come into Laurentide for any additional help. Good luck!

English 362: Glorious Diagrams!

Hello PWP students!

We’ve reached chapter 3 in Hopper’s textbook and been introduced to the basics of the great emblem of this grammar course, the Diagram. In addition to being a main focal point in the class, diagrams can be extremely confusing!

Here is a recap on important basics to understanding diagrams:

First of all, remember the definition of phrase. This is important since it’s phrases that we will be diagramming.

Phrase: this term refers to a set of words that belong together because they function as a grammatical unit (eg., “the hot rod” is the unit of a noun phrase)

In a diagram, a phrase has two aspects that are identified: Form and Function (hence, it is called a “form-function diagram”)

Forms: labels for categories like “verb”, “noun”, “adjective”; and labels for phrases like “Noun Phrase” and “Predicate Phrase”

-Forms are represented in the top “tree” part of the diagram

Functions: (what the phrase is doing in the sentence, or the purpose that it serves) labels such as “Subject”, “Predicate”, “Modifier”, “Determiner”, etc.

-Functions are represented in the underlined section of the diagram, underneath the sentence.

Every sentence that we will be working with is made up of two basic phrases: The Noun Phrase (NP) and the Predicate Phrase (PredPhr).  When you diagram a sentence, after you start the tree diagram by labeling the sentence with the overarching “S” form label,  the NP and PredPhr are the first two phrases that you will identify. Identify their forms (NP and PredPhr), and then identify their functions (Subject and Predicate). (See p. 48 of Hopper’s textbook)

Example Sentence:

The hot rod whizzed down the street.

   Two basic phrases of sentence:

“The hot rod” And “whizzed down the street”

   – Forms:

“the hot rod” = NP

“whizzed down the street” = PredPhr


     NP function (the hot rod) = Subject

PredPhr function (whizzed down the street) = Predicate


See chapter 3 for visuals of this diagramming process. Understanding the basic form-function categories of NP and PredPhr is just the beginning before we dissect each of those phrases down to every single word’s form and function. Keep up the good practice! If you have any questions or simply want someone to practice with, please stop by Laurentide and see either Cheyenne or Olivia (that’s me:)