of + noun phrase

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by jimpotter, May 1, 2013.

  1. jimpotter New Member

    Hello pals,

    here i have a little confusion that I haven't been able to clarify. It's as to noun phrases, specifically when they need to contain "of". This is from a book exercise. I have to form noun phrases containig "of" and without "of" from 2 boxes:

    in one I find: Action, admission, contigency, damage, flow, legal, flow, loss, press, speed.

    in the other box I find: action, conference, confidence, information, liability, limitation, plan, release, response.

    the book even gives me 2 examples :
    1. action plan
    2. admission of liability

    When should I use "of" in a noun phrase? I need to give an explanation on when to use "of" to form these phrases. Please, help me.
  2. auxilio! Senior Member

    English - Australia
    Aquí está mi intento. No es de las tareas (homework), verdad?

    1. action plan , plan of action
    2. admission of liability , admission information
    3. contingency plan
    4. damage response
    5. flow of information , flow limitation
    6. loss of confidence
    7. press release
    8. speed of response

    'legal' con cualquier de los sustantivos de caja 2.

    Cuando se debería usar 'of'? Cuando la primera palabra es o se refiere a alguna propiedad de la otra cosa, y a veces cuando el segundo sustantivo parece 'contener' el primero, ej. 'plan of action'. Sprachliebhaber lo explica más correctamente.
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  3. Sprachliebhaber Moderator

    USA English
    Noun phrases do not need to contain "of" because of a rule. If a word in box 1 can be considered a noun adjunct (a noun used as an adjective) modifying a word in box 2, then "of" is not required. Obviously "action action" does not make sense (nor does "action of action"), so those two cannot be paired. But "action conference", "action confidence", "action information", "action liability", "action limitation", "action plan", "action release", and "action response" are all possible. Also, "action of conference", "action of confidence", "action of information", "action of limitation", "action of release", and "action of response", although they may be improbable, are all possible; "action of plan" (unlike "plan of action"), however, makes no sense. Similarly, "admission" can be used as a noun adjunct with all of the words in box 2, and can be used with "of" with all of them but "plan" which makes no sense. There is no limitation for "contingency".

    "Legal" is a normal adjective, not a noun, and does not accept "of" with any of the words in box 2. "Legal action", "legal conference", and so forth, however, are noun phrases.

    In simple terms, if a noun can be considered a noun adjunct and can reasonably modify another noun, they can form a noun phrase without any intermediate word. If two nouns make sense joined by "of", the the combination can form a noun phrase.
  4. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    The basic rule is that if the first noun is serving strictly as an adjective (modifying the second noun), you need no preposition, but if the first noun is the main noun, and the second one tells us more about it (that is, modifies it), then a preposition is needed.


    information flow
    flow of information

    In both cases, flow is the main noun, and information is telling us what kind of flow it is.

    I hope this makes it a little clearer.
  5. jimpotter New Member


    is there any website where I can find more info about it?

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