Last time, I looked at noun clauses.
So let’s look now at noun phrases, and how to use them in the IELTS exam, shall we?
A noun phrase is a phrase that plays the role of a noun – it’s different from a noun clause in that it doesn’t contain a verb.
Here’s a simple noun phrase:
Mobile phone ownership rose steadily throughout the period.
As you can see, it works in the same way as a noun:
Ownership rose steadily throughout the period.
In the examples above the noun phrases are subjects, but they could also be objects, as in:
The chart gives information about mobile phone ownership. [object of a preposition]
The arrival of smart phones boosted mobile phone ownership [object of a verb]
Here’s a more complex one:
The chart gives information about the number of people owning mobile phones in ten particular countries - it’s the object of the preposition “about”. Note: there’s no verb - owning is a gerund, which is a noun
It can also be the subject of a sentence
The number of people owning mobile phones rose in all 10 countries over the period
Notice how it’s different from a noun clause
The chart gives information about how many people owned mobiles in ten particular countries.
How many people owned mobiles at that time is unknown.
How about noun phrases in Task 2?
Eating an unhealthy diet is likely to result in health problems later in life.
Having more old people than young people is a very dangerous development.
Once again, noun clauses are different – they contain verbs.
The fact that people eat unhealthy diets is likely to result in health problems later in life.
I believe that the fact that there will be more old people than young people is a very dangerous development.