Writing expanded noun phrases

Home learning focus

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.


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

Test yourself with this quiz!

Activity 3

You will need paper and a pen for this activity.

Can you improve a sentence by adding adjectives to create an expanded noun phrase?

For example: 'The man visited a house on the edge of the woods.' could become ' The old man visited the derelict, haunted house on the edge of the dark, gloomy woods.'

Have a go at improving these sentences:

The boy walked into the forest.

The girl caught a fish.

The sun shone across the meadow.

The dolphin jumped in the sea.

The bird built a nest in a tree.

Great Job - Have a go at writing your own sentences with an expanded noun phrase.

Where next?

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

There are other useful articles on Bitesize.

Click on the links below to keep learning.

There's more to learn

More English Lessons
KS2 English
This Terms Topics - English
Primary games