If you are a parent of a child in primary school, you will probably be becoming aware of the increased focus on grammar and punctuation contained in the new National Curriculum. Your child’s school may have provided information about the new English grammar, punctuation and spelling tests which Year 2 and Year 6 children will be taking next summer. Depending upon when and where you went to school, you may find the information coming from school (and the terminology being used by your child) challenging. Whether you are bewildered by the terminology used or just want to know a little more to support your child, I hope you will find this blog useful. You can click on the Parent’s Start Page to link to information about different areas of grammar and punctuation. Alternatively, enter a term in the search bar or click on a word in the cloud of labels. If you have further queries, get in touch and I will try to help where I can.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Nouns and noun phrases

A noun is the name of a person, object or place. 

If the noun refers to an individual person, object or place and identifies it as distinct from any other, it is called a proper noun and will start with a capital letter.  For example, Fred Smith, Buckingham Palace, France.

Nouns used as a general name are called common nouns.  For example, table, field, cat, castle, apple.

We use the term noun for these single words and sometimes they are used as a single word to fill a sentence element slot in the sentence:
Andy won Wimbledon.
I like apples.
Art is enjoyable.

It is more usual for nouns to appear in sentences as part of a phrase, i.e. two words or more, working together to fill a slot in a sentence.  Let’s have a look at examples of how we can combine a noun with other words to make a noun phrase.
an apple
the apple
the green apple
the small, green apple
the small, green apple with spotty skin
the small, green apple which I picked from the tree

Nouns and noun phrases can be used in different places in sentences, but they usually fill the subject and object slots.

Over the primary years, your child will be taught how to expand noun phrases in the ways exemplified above.  You will notice that some words can be placed before the main noun in the phrase (apple); sometimes words can be placed after the main noun.  You can link below to information for how nouns and noun phrases are developed in each year group, along with the new National Curriculum requirements and terminology.  It will be useful to look at all year groups leading up to your child’s current year so you have a complete picture of what they should know.

Nouns and noun phrases in Year 3
Nouns and noun phrases in Year 4
Nouns and noun phrases in Year 5
Nouns and noun phrases in Year 6

When learning about nouns and noun phrases, children will also need to understand that sometimes we need to replace these with pronouns to avoid repetition in our writing.

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