Writing expanded noun phrases

To understand what an expanded noun phrase is and be able to write your own.

This lesson includes:

  • a video to help you understand expanded noun phrases

  • a video to help you revise adjectives

  • three activities.


Watch this short clip to learn about 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

An expanded noun phrase can also add detail by saying where a noun is.

For example: a tree next to the house, some sweets on the floor, the castle by the ocean.

Watch this clip to recap on what adjectives are and think about how these could be added to nouns to make expanded noun phrases.

Revise what adjectives are.

Writers use adjectives and expanded noun phrases to make their writing more descriptive. They help to give 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.


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 Extended noun phrases activity sheets by underlining or circling the expanded noun phrases.

If you can't print off the sheet, write down the expanded noun phrases instead.

Expanded noun phrases activity sheet

Activity 3

Complete the Writing expanded noun phrases activity sheet by writing a sentence that uses an expanded noun phrase to describe what is in the picture.

Make sure to write a full sentence and use an expanded noun phrase.

Top tip!

You can use more than one adjective for each noun to make your expanded noun phrases more exciting.

For example: The warrior lifted their shiny, deadly sword into the air, ready for battle.

Writing expanded noun phrases activity sheet

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt about expanded noun phrases and written some of your own.

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