Unit 3.2

Noun complement

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Introduction

The noun phrase [sintagma nominal] (NP) is a group of words that plays a syntactic function in the sentence and whose nucleus can be a noun, a pronoun, or a substantive phrase.

Noun complements [complementos del nombre] complement the meaning of the noun in the sentence.

There are three types of noun complements: adjective complement (adjectival phrase), prepositional complement (prepositional phrase), and noun complement (nominal phrase).

Form

The noun complement completes the meaning of a noun or a noun phrase.

The most common noun complements are the following:

  1. The adjectival phrase is formed with adjectives (not relative):
    Adjective (+ modifiers);
  2. The prepositional phrase is formed with prepositions such as de, a and con:
    Preposition de/a/con/… + nominal/adjectival/adverbial phrase;
  3. adjective or relative clause is formed with the conjunction que and a predicate (thus creating an adjective or relative subordinate clause):
    Conjunction que + predicate + …

Example

  1. Adjectival phrase:
    • En el museo hay expuesto un pez enorme;
    • Entraron en casa y me robaron un collar de perlas blancas;
    • En la escuela damos asignaturas aburridas.
  2. Prepositional phrase:
    • Tengo una casa de campo;
    • El restaurante sirve pato a la naranja;
    • En el parque hay un gato con botas.
  3. Adjective or relative clause:
    • En la plaza está el perro que te mordió;
    • En aquella tienda venden la película que te gusta;
    • En esta parada se detiene el autobús que me lleva a casa.

Use

The noun complement is used to add new and unknown information to the noun to which it refers, and it depends on the noun.

Summary

In Spanish, the noun complement is a part of the noun phrase and has the function of completing the sense of the noun through some nexuses such as de and que.

The most common one are created according to these structures:
Noun Phrase + de + noun + …
Noun Phrase + que + verb + …
Noun Phrase + adjective (+ modifier) + …

For example:
— «Egipto es un país de África»= complement of the noun formed by the prepositional syntagm of África;
— «Egipto es un país que me gustó»= complement of the noun formed by the relative clause que me gustó;
— «Egipto es un país muy grande»= complement of the noun formed by the adjectival syntagm muy grande.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

Exercises


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