The Noun Group
The main function of nouns in any language is to denote an entity (person, object, etc.) or concept (situation, abstract idea, etc.). Nouns are generally used together with articles (the, a) and/or adjectives (describing physical or other characteristics), which provide information about the entity or concept. Together they form a group of words called the noun group; two examples are shown below:
una (article) grande (adjective) casa (noun) a big house la (article) ragazza (noun) inglese (adjective) the English girl
Although the noun group may contain other elements (e.g. adverbs, prepositional phrases, etc.), in this chapter we will only deal with the three basic elements of noun/ article/adjective, analysing them one by one. In Italian the three components of the noun group can be considered not only separately but also as a ‘whole’, in which the various components have to ‘agree’, so we will also look at how they are used together.