Nouns have traditionally been defined as words for people, places, things, and ideas. A noun phrase consists of a noun plus any modifiers, complements, and determiners that provide more information about the noun. Pronouns, which are a subcategory of nouns, are words that take the place of nouns and noun phrases.
In grammar, a direct object is a word, phrase, or clause that follows and receives the action of a transitive verb. Nouns, pronouns, and noun phrases most frequently function as direct objects in English grammar. Examples of nouns including pronouns and noun phrases as direct objects include the following:
- My rabbit eats carrots. (noun)
- Some dogs despise men. (noun)
- The committee elected no one. (pronoun)
- She loves him. (pronoun)
- The hurricane destroyed the extremely tall building next to the ancient bowling alley. (noun phrase)
- That man likes women who bake pies and enjoy rock climbing. (noun phrase)
Noun Phrase as Direct Object
Pronoun as Direct Object
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.