Expanded noun phrases

Home learning focus

To identify and be able to use expanded noun phrases.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos to help you understand expanded noun phrases

  • three activities


Watch this short clip to learn what an expanded noun phrase is.

Learn about expanded noun phrases.

Noun phrase

A noun phrase is a simple phrase built around a noun.

It contains a determiner and a noun.

For example: a tree, some sweets, the castle

Expanded noun phrase

An expanded noun phrase adds more detail to the noun by adding one or more adjectives. An adjective is a word that describes a noun.

For example: a huge tree, some colourful sweets, the large, royal castle

Now watch this clip to recap on what adjectives are.

Think about why writers might add adjectives to nouns to make expanded noun phrases.

Learn about adjectives.

Writers use adjectives to make expanded noun phrases because this makes their writing more descriptive and gives the reader a better picture in their head of what the writer is trying to describe.

For example, the expanded noun phrase 'a cute, baby elephant' gives you a much clearer picture than just writing ‘the elephant’ would.


You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Check how well you understood the videos by highlighting all the expanded noun phrases.

Top tip!

Look for the noun (person, place or thing) and then find the determiner and the adjective. All these together make an expanded noun phrase.

For example: The house was next to the huge lake.

The noun is 'lake', the determiner is 'the' and 'huge' is the adjective.

Activity 2

Complete the Expanded Noun Phrases activity sheet by underlining the expanded noun phrase in each sentence.

You can either print out the activity sheet or write the expanded noun phrases on a piece of paper.

Top tip!

An expanded noun phrase adds description to a noun.

Look for the noun and then look for the description straight before or after it. This should be the expanded noun phrase.

For example: The sparkling, shiny moon shone down on the lake.

Expanded Noun Phrases activity sheet

Activity 3

Complete the Under the Sea activity sheet.

You need to improve the sentences by adding an expanded noun phrase to the words that are written in bold.

For example:

The dolphin jumped out of the water.

The beautiful, excited dolphin jumped out of the water.

If you're feeling confident, you can also do the second activity. You'll need to get creative and write some of your own sentences using expanded noun phrases.

Under the Sea activity sheet

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt about using expanded noun phrases.

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