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Using Nouns and Noun Phrases as Object Complements

Nouns have traditionally been defined as words that refer to a person, place, thing, or idea. A noun phrase is a phrase that consists of a noun plus any modifiers, complements, or determiners. A subcategory of nouns, pronouns are words that take the place of nouns and noun phrases.

In grammar, an object complement is a word, phrase, or clause that directly follows and describes or completes the direct object. Nouns, pronouns, and noun phrases frequently function as object complements in English. Examples of nouns and noun phrases as object complements include the following:

  • My best friend named her daughter Princess. (noun)
  • The committee elected James president. (noun)
  • Strangers often call her Debbie. (noun)
  • You can elect me anything. (pronoun)
  • My brother called my other brother something stupid. (pronoun phrase)
  • Our cousins always called my uncle a dictator. (noun phrase)
  • My friends consider my new boyfriend an absolute idiot with a computer. (noun phrase)
  • The Provost named my supervisor the new Dean. (noun phrase)

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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