Modification of nouns

December 30, 2011pdf

We can modify a singular countable noun in very many ways. For example, we can use the expression quite a/an or rather a/an before a singular countable noun.

She’s quite a nuisance. OR She is rather a nuisance.

The party was quite a success. OR The party was rather a success.

He is quite a fool. OR He is rather a fool.

He is quite a genius. OR He is rather a genius.

It was quite an experience. OR It was rather an experience.

Note that this structure is not possible with uncountable or plural nouns.

Another way of modifying a singular countable noun is to use a quantifier with of.

Let us see how much of a singer you are.

He is very much of a family man.

I think she is a bit of a fool.

It was more of a party than a conference.

She is less of a singer than a poet.

A lot is not used in this structure. Instead, we use expressions with similar meaning.

She is very much of a professional. (NOT She is a lot of a professional.)

This structure, too, is only used with singular countable nouns.

We can’t, for example, say I think they are a bit of fools.

Keep your grammar up-to-date!
Includes Grammar Guide (PDF)