Advanced Grammar for IELTS: A Guide to Nouns and Noun Phrases

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  • Updated On:Jul 28,2023 05:00 PM IST

Grammar plays a crucial role in a language, and candidates taking the IELTS test must be well-versed in grammar proficiency to score high. Understanding nouns and noun phrases and their uses can help increase the overall score. Read more to learn about noun and noun phrases and their importance in IELTS.

Advanced Grammar for IELTS .webpStudents aiming to study abroad need to prove their proficiency in the English language, for which various tests are conducted. The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is one of the most popular exams to test the applicant's command of English. Test-taker must properly know advanced grammar for IELTS, including noun and noun phrases. Though grammar is not tested directly, understanding the basics of grammar helps to score high in all four sections of IELTS- Reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Importance of Advanced Grammar for IELTS

Advanced knowledge of grammar plays a vital role in IELTS as it impacts the overall scores of the candidate. Grammatical skills are indispensable across all sections of the test. However, understanding advanced grammar for IELTS is necessary, especially for clear and effective writing and speaking during the test. A lack of comprehension of grammar rules often leads to difficulties in constructing logical sentences. Grammatical errors during IELTS Grammar Test can bring down one's band score. If a sentence has too many grammatical errors, the scores can go down to coherence, cohesion, and lexical resource criteria. 

Advanced grammar for IELTS- Noun

A noun is a word used to name a person, place, thing or idea. It plays an essential role in constructing sentences. Nouns can be subject, direct or indirect objects, subject complement, appositive or modifier. 

Types of nouns

English vocabulary consists of nouns, which exhibit diverse types.

1. Common Noun

It represents the generic name of an item and is not capitalized unless appearing at the beginning of a sentence or in a title. Words for people, places, animals and things are known as common nouns. 
Common nouns example for:

1. Things: Table, pen, car, printer, paper etc.
2. Places: Bank, hotel, station, library etc.
3. People: Manager, pilot, teacher, dancer etc. 
4. Animal: cat, dog, cow, giraffe
Common nouns are further categorized into three subtypes: abstract nouns, concrete nouns, and collective nouns. 
• A concrete noun refers to a thing that is real/physical and can be perceived by the senses.
  For example, The Keyboard is not working. Here the word keyboard is a concrete noun. 
• The meaning of abstract nouns is the opposite to concrete nouns. It refers to things that the senses cannot perceive.

   For example, The family is bonded with love. The word love is an abstract noun.
• A collective noun refers to a group or collection of things or people.

   For example, A pack of lies. The word pack is a collective noun.

2. Proper Noun

It represents a specific name of a person, place or thing and always begins with a capital letter. It includes the names of the days of the week and the months of the year. Special days and celebrations are also considered to be proper nouns.
Examples of proper nouns: Harry Potter, Monday, Christmas, the Taj Mahal etc.

3. Singular and Plural nouns

Nouns can be singular or plural. A singular noun refers to one person, place, thing, or idea and requires a singular verb, while a plural noun refers to more than one person, place, thing, or idea and requires a plural verb.
For example, A park, a doctor, an oven etc., are singular nouns, whereas computers, chairs, taxis etc., are plural nouns. 

4. Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Countable nouns are nouns that can be counted and can be used in either singular or plural form. Countable nouns can be modified by various modifiers. 

For Example, She has a dog.
Uncountable nouns are the ones that cannot be counted and are often referred to as concepts, collections, or substances. These nouns can be modified by definite articles or indefinite adjectives.

For example, Students have minimal homework these days.

5. Material Nouns

These nouns denote the substance of which things are made.

For example, Diamond, water etc. 

6. Possessive nouns

These nouns show the relationship of a noun with other words. It can refer to ownership, possession, occupancy, a personal relationship, or another association.

For example, The girls' toy was missing.

7. Noun as subject

Each sentence consists of a subject. The subjects will always be a noun or pronoun. 

For example, She played the guitar beautifully. 

8. Nouns are objects

Nouns can often function as objects of a transitive verb. 

For example, Mother passed the salt. 

Also read: How reading can improve your english?

Advanced Grammar for IELTS: Noun Phrases

A noun phrase can be referred to as a word or a collection of words within a sentence that acts in the same way as a noun, that is, as a subject, an object or the object of a preposition. Noun phrases can’t function as complete sentences because they do not have a verb.

Identifying Noun Phrases

While learning advanced grammar for IELTS, a student should also be able to identify noun phrases. Identifying noun phrases may appear challenging, but it is not. While identifying noun phrases, test-takers must remember that the only thing required for a noun phrase is to perform the role of a noun in a sentence and not necessarily contain a noun. It is also important to remember that a sentence can have more than one noun phrase.

Components of a Noun Phrase

There are various components of noun phrases. However, these are not necessarily the only elements that can construct a noun phrase. The noun phrase can consist of:

• A noun, a conjunction and a noun
  For example, Riya and Priya are from Mumbai

• A gerund and a noun
  For example, Reading books is her hobby

• An article, an adjective and a noun
  For example, Her mother brought her a smartwatch

• An article, a noun and a prepositional phrase
  For example, Did you meet a girl from London?

• A determiner and a noun
  For example, These books belong to Riya

An adverb used with an adjective and a noun, and various other combinations can also constitute a noun phrase.

Also read: Why many people are unable to score well in IELTS?

Using Noun Clauses for IELTS

The advanced grammar for IELTS includes the use of noun clauses. Applicants taking the IELTS test must know the meaning and use of noun clauses. A noun clause is a dependent clause that acts as a noun in a sentence. In the noun clause example, “I like who you are,” the noun clause “who you are” acts as a single noun, specifically the direct object of the verb like. These clauses work together to replace a single noun.

Advanced grammar for IELTS- Differentiating between a noun clause and a noun phrase Both noun clauses and noun phrases act as a single noun, but the difference lies in the presence of a verb. Noun clauses contain a verb, while noun phrases do not. Noun clauses generally begin with a relative pronoun, whereas noun phrases do not.

1. Example of noun clause: Did you hear what the teacher said
2. Example of noun phrase: The cat on the table drinks milk


Mastering advanced grammar for IELTS is vital for achieving high scores on the exam, which is a fundamental requirement for candidates who want to study abroad. By practical application of grammar rules, students can enhance their language proficiency. Using nouns and noun phrases play a significant role in achieving academic sentence structure, especially in IELTS writing and speaking. Understanding the diverse applications of nouns and noun phrases contributes to the development of exceptional academic writing.

Also read: 7 common mistakes everyone makes in an IELTS exam


Nouns often have articles (a, an, the) before them, but not always. Aside from the first word in a sentence, if a word is capitalized, it’s most likely a proper noun. At times, adjectives are added before nouns.
The key difference between noun phrases and noun clauses is that a noun phrase ahas a noun but not a verb, whereas a noun clause has a subject and a verb.
A noun phrase can contain multiple nouns, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositional phrases, gerunds, adverbs, adjectives, articles and determiners.
IELTS does not check grammar directly, but a student must have a good command of the English language.
The most crucial areas of grammar include voice, speaking, verb tenses etc.

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