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Nominalization and Complex Noun Phrases

Smiley woman holding post-its

Nominalization and Complex Noun Phrases

When it comes to writing, it is important to have a good understanding of grammar and sentence structure. One aspect of grammar that many writers struggle with is nominalization and complex noun phrases. In this article, we will explore what nominalization is, how to form complex noun phrases, and provide some practice exercises to reinforce your understanding.

What is Nominalization?

Nominalization is the process of turning a verb, adjective, or adverb into a noun. This can be done by adding a suffix, such as -ion, -ment, -ance, or -hood, to the base form of the word. Nominalization allows us to express ideas or concepts more concisely, but it can also make writing more abstract and less engaging for the reader.

For example, the verb form “analyze” can be nominalized into the noun form “analysis.” The adjective “creative” can become the noun “creativity,” and the adverb “carefully” can be turned into the noun “carefulness.”

Forming Complex Noun Phrases

A complex noun phrase is a group of words centered around a noun that provides more information about it. These phrases can include adjectives, prepositional phrases, and relative clauses. Complex noun phrases help to add detail and specificity to our writing.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Smiley woman holding post-its

Original sentence: The woman wrote a note.

Complex noun phrase: The friendly woman in the blue dress wrote a thoughtful note on a yellow post-it.

In the complex noun phrase, we have added the adjectives “friendly” and “thoughtful,” the prepositional phrase “in the blue dress,” and the relative clause “on a yellow post-it.” These additions provide more information about the woman and the note she wrote, making the sentence more descriptive.

Practice Exercises

Now, let’s practice forming complex noun phrases. Fill in the blanks with appropriate words to create complex noun phrases:

  1. The ___________ dog chased its ___________ tail.
  2. We attended a ___________ wedding in a ___________ church.
  3. The ___________ student received a ___________ scholarship for his ___________ achievements.
  4. She bought a ___________ car with ___________ features.


  1. The playful dog chased its wagging tail.
  2. We attended a grand wedding in a historic church.
  3. The dedicated student received a prestigious scholarship for his academic achievements.
  4. She bought a luxurious car with advanced features.

By practicing these exercises, you can enhance your understanding of nominalization and complex noun phrases. Remember that using these techniques can make your writing more engaging and descriptive. Keep practicing and soon these concepts will become second nature!


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