Grammar | Band 7 Noun Phrases Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

When studying English, most students spend a lot of time working on verbs and not much time working on nouns. However, in writing many students struggle (find it difficult) to express themselves well because of little ability to form complex noun phrases.

Here at we want you to be fully prepared for the IELTS test so we dedicate a lot of time to focusing on this tricky area of grammar. Review what you know by rereading our previous post – complex noun phrases 1 – on this subject, then complete the quiz below.

Complex Noun Phrases Quiz

​Join the sentences by typing the missing words to make one sentence using a noun phrase.
A company sold cars in November. The sales fell.

One sentence with a noun phrase:
[Sales of cars] fell in November. 
[The number of cars sold] fell in November
[The number of cars sold by the company] fell in November

Note: The complex noun phrase is ‘sales of cars’ or ‘the number of cars sold (by the company)’. Notice that grammatically, we use a complex noun phrase like a single noun, so we could replace the whole complex noun phrase with ‘it’: It fell in November. (But only of course if we have already said what ‘it’ is earlier in the text.)

Complete the sentences with a noun phrase

I work for a bank. I work in the head office.
1. I work in the bank.
I went to the meeting. I went with two colleagues.
2. I went to the meeting .
Some people continue to work after retirement. The number is increasing.
3. The number of after retirement is increasing.
A percentage of people complaind about the service. The percentage fell in October.
4. The percentage of people about the service fell in October.
An offer was made by a big business. The offer was rejected.
5 An offer by a big business was rejected.
NASA has satellites. The satellites are orbiting other planets in our solar system.
6. NASA has satellites other planets in our solar system.
I opened a savings account at a bank. Speedbank is the name of the bank.
7. I opened a savings account .
An article is going to be published tomorrow. The article reveals a political scandal.
8. An article is going to be published tomorrow political scandal.
My favourite movie is a science fiction film. It is based on a Japanese comic.
9. My favourite film is a science fiction film Japanese comic.
Less young people are buying their own homes. In the past, more young people bought their own homes.
10. The proportion their own homes has fallen.
Lots of rubbish lies on the riverbed. It is dangerous to wildlife.
11. Rubbish is dangerous to wildlife.
Ships transport goods around the world. These ships are responsible for a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.
12. Ships around the world account for a large proportion of greenhouse gas emissions.

​When you are reading IELTS passages or texts for native speakers, see if you can spot complex noun phrases. I guarantee that you will start to notice them everywhere. Make sure to use complex noun phrases to improve the complexity and conciseness (accuracy and directness) of your grammar in both speaking and writing. 

For more great free interactive grammar lessons, visit our Grammar Page.