Unit 30. Other ways of adding to a noun group
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- Some adjectives can be used after nouns.
- You can use relative clauses after nouns.
- Adverbials of place and time can come after nouns.
- A noun can be followed by another noun group.
- You can use ‘that’-clauses after some nouns.
1. You can use some adjectives after a noun to give more information about it, but the adjectives are usually followed by a prepositional phrase, a ‘to’-infinitive clause, or an adverbial.
This is a warning to people eager for a quick profit.
These are the weapons likely to be used.
Fora list of the facilities available here, ask the secretary.
You must talk to the people concerned.
See Unit 19 for more information on adjectives used after nouns.
2. When you want to give more precise information about the person or thing you are talking about, you can use a defining relative clause after the noun.
The man who had done it was arrested.
There are a lot of things that are wrong.
Nearly all the people I used to know have gone.
Note that you can also use defining relative clauses after indefinite pronouns such as ‘someone’ or ‘something’.
I'm talking about somebody who is really ill.
See Unit 97 for more information on defining relative clauses.
3. You can use an adverbial of place or time after a noun.
People everywhere are becoming more selfish.
This is a reflection of life today.
4. You can add a second noun group after a noun. The second noun group gives you more precise information about the first noun.
Her mother, a Canadian, died when she was six.
Note that the second noun group is separated by commas from the rest of the clause.
5. Nouns such as ‘advice’, ‘hope’, and ‘wish’, which refer to what someone says or thinks, can be followed by a ‘that’-clause. Here are some examples:
It is my firm belief that more women should stand for Parliament.
I had a feeling that no-one thought I was good enough.
Note that all these nouns are related to reporting verbs, which also take a ‘that’-clause. For example, ‘information’ is related to ‘inform’, and ‘decision’ is related to ‘decide’.
Some of these nouns can also be followed by a ‘to’-infinitive clause.
The decision to go had not been an easy one.
I reminded Barnaby of his promise to buy his son a horse.
6. A few other nouns can be followed by a ‘that’-clause.
He didn't want her to get the idea that he was rich.
I had no evidence that Jed was the killer.
He couldn't believe the news that his house had just burned down.