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Thread: noun phrases

  1. #1
    sting Guest

    noun phrases

    Hello,
    Can you tell me the difference between the following:
    Developed Program (noun phrase I believe)...and...
    Program Developed. (how is this classified?)

    In general I am trying to understand what the grammatical difference between placing an adjective prior to the noun and placing a past tense verb after the noun.

  2. #2
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    Re: noun phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by sting
    Hello,
    Can you tell me the difference between the following:
    Developed Program (noun phrase I believe)...and...
    Program Developed. (how is this classified?)

    In general I am trying to understand what the grammatical difference between placing an adjective prior to the noun and placing a past tense verb after the noun.
    I get the question, but I'm not sure I understand the structures you're looking for. You see, 'developed' is not a past tense verb. It's a participle. That is, it's part of a verb.

    Let's look at the distribution of 'developed'. :D

    Adjective + Noun
    We'll want the developed program when you're done.

    ==> 'developed' is a participle in form and an adjective in function. It's called a participle because it tends to go hand-in-hand with verbs (i.e., it's part of a verb phrase, like 'was developed', 'have developed', 'had developed'). If 'developed' is on its own, that is, if there is no other verbal element next to it, then it doesn't function as a verb. In 'developed program' it functions as an adjective. Note that, it answers the question, "What kind of program?" => the developed one. :wink:

    Noun + Adjective
    We'll need the program developed by Monday.

    => 'developed' is a participle in form, and since there is no other verbal element present (i.e., next to it), it's not functioning as a verb. 'developed' is next to a noun. It modifies the noun 'program'. If we rephrase the sentence, like this, ...the program will be developed by Monday, we notice the verb phrase, 'will be' is a form of the verb BE. Note that, forms of the verb BE (is, am, are, was, were, be) function like the Math sign "=". That is, they are not really "verbs" in the sense that they are actions, that someonne or something can act them out, so even if a participle is next to a form of the verb BE, it's still considered a participle e.g., I am tired; the program to be developed.

    Noun + Verb
    The program developed the pictures.

    => 'developed' is a verb in form and a verb in function. Verbs move in predictable ways: they come after the subject and they tend to take objects:

    EX: The program (Subject) developed (Verb) the pictures (Object)

    In English, each sentence has two main things: A subject and a verb, and those units agree in person and number:

    EX: The program (Subject) develops (Verb) the pictures.

    Notice the -s on 'develops'. It agrees in person and number with the Subject 'The program':

    EX: The program/It develops the pictures.

    When we compare the underlined portions in 1. and 2. below, we find that 1. has both a subject and a verb, whereas 2. does not;

    1. The program developed the pictures.
    Subject: The program, Verb: developed

    2. We'll need the developed program by Monday.
    Subject: None; Verb: None
    'developed' comes after 'the' and before 'program'; that is, is appears in the middle of a noun phrase, which makes it an adjective in function. :wink:

    Now let's look at sentence 3.:

    3. We'll need the program developed by Monday.

    In this case, we have a noun + participle sequence. Note that, participles do not function as verbs unless they are part of another verb (i.e., was developed, is developed, has developed, have developed). In 3., 'developed' is by itself, so we can conclude that it's not functioning as a verb. We can also rephrase the underlined portion with a form of the verb BE, like this,

    EX: the program will be developed by Monday.

    We can also clarify the meaning, like this,

    EX: We will need someone to develop the program by Monday.

    The underlined portion functions as the object of the verb 'will need'. Within that object, 'someone' functions as the subject, 'to develop' functions as the verb, and 'the program' functions as the object of that verb:

    EX: Someone (Subject) to develop (Infintive Verb) the program (Object).

    The wonderful thing about participles is that they come from verbs. Notice to develop the program can be rephrased as program developed. :D The difference between the two is word order, and in English word order carries meaning:

    to develop the program (Verb + Noun)
    ==> Someone acts upon the program / The program is acted upon.

    program developed (Noun + Participle)
    ==> The program = a state.

    developed program (Participle + Noun)
    ==> A kind of program.

    All the best, :D

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