#EngClass: noun as modifier

Ready for tonight’s session? Sit back and relax. But before that, let me ask you some questions…

Choose the correct phrase:

  1. Question 1: a) shoes store b) shoe store.
  2. Question 2: a) baby food b) baby’s food.

Thanks for your answers, fellas! The correct ones are:

  1. Question 1: b) shoe store.
  2. Question 2: a) baby food.

So were you right? :)

Why “shoe store” and “baby food”? Why can’t we use “shoes” or “baby’s”? Stay tuned, our topic tonight is “noun as modifier”! :D

In grammar, “noun as modifier” is also called as “noun adjunct” or “attributive noun” or “noun premodifier”.

noun phrase

Before we proceed, let’s review “noun phrase”. Apa itu “noun phrase”? Buka link ini dan baca ini yuk: noun phrase.

Our examples, “shoe store” and “baby food” are both noun phrase (frasa kata benda). Seperti pada link, dalam frasa ada HEAD and MODIFIER.

  • “Shoe store” (toko sepatu): shoe = MODIFIER; store = HEAD
  • “Baby food” (makanan bayi): baby = MODIFIER; food = HEAD

Dalam noun phrase, biasanya noun di-modify oleh adjective (kata sifat). Misal:

  • “Pretty woman” (wanita cantik): pretty (adj.) woman (n.)
  • “Blue book” (buku biru): blue (adj.) book (n.).

noun as modifier

Tapi ternyata modifier dalam noun phrase bukan adjective saja lho, tapi bisa juga sebuah noun. Seperti yang terjadi pada “shoe store” dan “baby food”.

Nah, “shoe” pada “shoe store” dan “baby” pada “baby food” ini lah yang disebut sebagai “noun as modifier”. Noun yang berfungsi sebagai modifier.


Another question:

Dilihat dari contoh noun phrase “shoe store”, “baby food”, “pretty woman”, “blue book” yang mana lebih dulu: HEAD or MODIFIER?


Great! You got it all right. Always remember: MODIFIER comes before HEAD. So the structure is:



Kembali ke “noun as modifier”, berikut aturan penggunaannya dan alasan kenapa “shoe store” dan “baby food” adalah jawaban yang benar.

  1. When a noun is used as a modifier, it is in its singular form. “Shoes” = plural, that’s why the correct form = “shoe store”.
  2. Jika digunakan sebagai modifier, apostrophe [‘] tidak digunakan, karena [‘] menunjukkan possession (kepemilikan). “Baby’s” = milik bayi.


Answer the questions with “noun phrase” using “noun as modifier” (not adjective). Ready, get set, go!

  1. This textbook is for students. It is ________ .
  2. The business is owned by the family. It is a ________ .
  3. The store is where I buy toys. It is a ________ .
  4. He is a psychologist for children. He is a ________ .
  5. The room is for guests. It is a ________ .


  1. student book/student textbook
  2. family business
  3. toy store
  4. child psychologist
  5. guest room

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on August 27, 2012

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