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DOI: 10.21070/acopen.4.2021.2952

Noun Phrase Construction Found in Recount Genres on the First Year Senior High School Students’ Textbooks

Kontruksi Frasa Kata Benda Genre Recount di Buku Tulis Sekolah Menengah Atas Kelas 10

Universitas Muhammadiyah Sidoarjo
Universitas Muhammadiyah Sidoarjo

(*) Corresponding Author

Noun Phrase Construction Recount Genre Textbook


This thesis analyzes types of noun phrase construction in Senior high school students’ textbooks found in recount genre. The source of data in this research are chosen report text in three different textbooks, such as “Bahasa Inggris SMA/MA/SMK/MAK kelas X, Pathway to English untuk SMA/MA Kelas X, Forward an English Course for Vocational High School Students Grade X. Result of this research is noun phrase structured from pre-modifier, head, and post- modifier. The majority pattern of noun phrase that found in text was consist of (Det+head), (Det+head+PP+CL), (Det+head+PP), and (Det+head+CL) with most of determiner was “a” and “the” as the pre-modifier. Researcher hopes that this research helps teachers in teaching and learning process, and students will able to improve their writing skills with better understanding about noun phrase construction and using it in their written product.


In Indonesia, English is considered as a main foreign language and it has taught from kindergarten until university. By studying about English, students will develop their language skills and they will have more opportunity to explore the new world based on it. According to Ramelan, “Man speaks a language as a means of communication with other people, as tool to express his ideas and wishes. Without language, it is hard to imagine how people can cooperate and get along with another”. in line with that, it’s clear why students need to have more attention ana realization in developing their language skills. English is one of the language that must be mastered for all students beside Indonesia language.

Bachman in Hadley divided two main components of language competences, such as organizational and pragmatically competences. Organizational competences include grammatical structure, while textual or pragmatically competences including illocutionary and sociolinguistic competences. Specifically, grammatical competences are vocabularies, morphology, and phonology, while textual competence including cohesively, rhetorical, and organizational knowledge. [1] In senior high school, students are developing their language skills by reading written product and practicing the oral product with their classmates or teacher. Written language is more complex than spoken language, because it needs correctness of grammar, content of words (lexical items), and also punctuation. Halliday stated that written language displays has much higher ratio of lexical items in total of running words. Halliday also explained that the number of lexical items as a proportion of the number of running words that called lexical density.

Beside the grammar rules, syntax also take the important part to combine several words into one whole sentence. [2] Based on that statement, syntax is focus in words relation in phrases, clauses, and sentences. For example, “wonderful the view” is ungrammatical and meaningless. On the other hand, “the wonderfulview”is grammatical and meaningful according to grammar and syntax rule.

School-Based Curriculum is an operational curriculum which is arranged, developed, and implemented by each school. The basic competence of senior high school students is to analyze the social function, text structure, and language features through the simple narrative text, such as folks. Also, editing the simple written and oral descriptive text about people, tourist attraction, and famous historical building with paying attention to the social function, text structure, and language features based on the context. In Senior High School, students are hoped to understand well about the grammar rules. It will be very helpful for them as they will use it in university level. By mastering the grammar rule in written language, they able to understand the text and its meaning. They also able to arrange the phrases into whole text syntactically. Besides that, the use of noun phrase in the text is clearly important to build the text understandable and grammatically correct. One of the text that suitable for senior high school is recount text.

Recount text is the one of most popular text that students can enjoy in making and identify it. Recount text tells all the activity and event that happened in the past. Students can identify the recount text from its grammar, kind of recount text, structure of recount text, and type of recount text. Students also be able to create one recount text based on their own experience in the past. Students can easily understand aan identifying recount text because its connected with their daily life. They can write about their experience when holiday, their imaginary dream, or they can write about someone else’s life that inspiring other students. By using recount text, teacher be able to build students self-confidence by writing their own experience into text. It will be easier for them because they don’t need to think about something complicated. They only need to learn about the structure, types, and grammatical rules in creating whole recount text correctly. By that, teaching and learning process will be so much easier and reachable for sstudents.

Before conducting this research, researcher did the pre-observation method with asked the students in SMAN 1 Mojosari about how to create recount text bbase on their experiences. It turns out that the students were difficult in using noun phrase properly. Researcher also observed the school through their curriculum, and it showed that the learning goals in first year of senior high school is students supposed to understand and use noun phrase correctly in improving their writing skills. Researcher also found that there only one textbook for each students in learning English. Then researcher took two more of students’ textbook as the main media for this research. Based on pre-observation, students have some difficulties in understanding the text, especially the noun phrase construction. They confused in analyzing the noun phrase construction in text because of their limited vocabulary and book source. Therefore, researcher need to identify the noun phrase construction in the textbook for senior high school as the method in improving students’ reading and writing skill through the familiarization of noun phrase in recount text for students.

Based on those reasons above, in this research the writer focused in chosen recount text in several textbook for Senior High School to find out what kind of noun phrase construction found in text, and what the meaning of it. By understanding about noun phrase and its meaning, it will very helpful for students in improving their writing and reading skills.

Literature interview


Studying a language means have to study about its grammar. Grammar is playing the important rule in written and spoken product. It taught the students to master the four skills in it, such as: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. (Depdikbud). Four of language components including phonology (pronunciation). syntax and morphology (grammar), semantic and lexicon (meaning and vocab), and discourse (style). Every component in language aspect has their own difficulties, and grammar is the most known the grammar as the most difficult for students because its complexness.

According to Hirai, grammar is a way to organize the sentence and create a good language. [3] In developing the language skills, students need to master the structure rules in that language as the barrier for making good quality content in speaking and written product. Unfortunately, learning and understanding the grammar is rather difficult for students, because English pattern sometimes used the reverse the words from adverb to noun, such as red bag instead of bag red. That become the main problem for students in reading and understanding the text, because good writing requires good working knowledge of grammar, and also the art of using rhetoric of arranging words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs as the way to get readers attention. Therefore, it would be impossible to write affectively and maximally without concerning grammar. For the language learners it is very important to learn correct grammar at the beginning of learning a new language, because grammar is one of the supporting aspects in English skill especially writing. When students able to write a good written product, they also improving their reading skills and able to understand another text by paying attention of grammar using in every sentences.


Syntax is the study of words are put together [4] . Based on that statement, syntax discusses the relation of words to other in phrases, clauses, and sentences. Syntax is taking part in making grammatical and meaningful sentences. For example, “smart the student” is ungrammatical or meaningless than “the smart student” which is more grammatical and meaningful according to the syntax rule.

The syntactic rules permit speakers to produce and understand an unlimited number of sentences never produced or heard before, the creative aspect of language use (Fromkin). Based on the definition above, researcher can conclude that syntax is a process of combining the grammar structure into specific items, such as phrases, sentences, clauses in creating whole text understandable and meaningful.

Syntactically, sentence is constructed by any words, any phrases, and could be any clauses which are adjoined into one sentence. From this statement, the researcher believes that it is very important for students to understand well about the syntax in creating a written product.

Noun Phrase

In grammar rules, there are part of speech that divided into noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. All of them divided based on their meanings and functions became understandable for both of listener-speaker and reader-writer. Noun itself is a word that used as the name of anything, a person, an animal, object, place, situation, a quality or an idea. [5]

When using noun in a phrase or a sentence, sometimes there are some complements before and after the word noun itself. The complements added when the single noun isn’t specific enough. For example, “the dog” with “the black dog that stood in front of my door last night”. These called noun phrase. Prahi mentions, “A noun phrase is a group of words that does the work of a noun. A noun phrase is either a pronoun or any group of words that can be replaced by a pronoun.” Nordquist mentions that a noun phrase is a phrase that plays the role of a noun. Noun phrase express the ideas clearly and creates a more specific meaningful context. Knowing how words are put together to make meaning is important [3] . According to Bakken, the head of a noun phrase is a noun or pronoun. If the head is noun, it may combine with determiners, pre-modifier and post-modifier. On the contrary, if the head is a pronoun, determiners will normally not occur, and even if modifiers occur these are usually post-modifiers [6].

Noun phrases in English and in other languages as a subject, primary and secondary objects of prepositions [7]. British Council refers noun phrases to a noun or a pronoun which can be classified into two types; pre-modifiers and post-modifiers. Pre-modifiers go before the noun while post-modifiers go after the noun. The head of a noun phrase is defined as “the dominant member of that noun phrase” [7]. From all the explanation above, we can conclude that noun phrase is used to emphasize the noun itself with the modifier. Noun phrase consist of head and modifier. Head here consists of noun itself, pronoun, and sometime adjective, while modifier divided into pre-modifier and past-modifier. Pre-modifier is he modifier that placed before the noun, it can be noun, adjective, adjective phrase, participle –ed and –ing. Post-modifier includes prepositional phrase, relative clause non-finite clause (-ing clause, -ed clause and infinitive clause) and complementation and it placed after the noun. In noun phrase, we also need to know about the determine. Determine is the word that used before the noun to emphasize the context of the noun itself, while modifier is the word, phrase, or clause that used to define the noun. [4]

As Greenbaum & Quirk argued that noun phrase may contain three fundamental elements, the head noun, pre-modification, and post- modification. Pre-modification comprises all the items placed before the head, notably determiners, adjectives, and nouns [7]. In other words, a pre-modifier may consist of determiners, adjectives and adjectives with participle endings (-ing), regular nouns, nouns with the s-genitive and adverbials [7]. On the contrary, post-modification may consist of all the items placed after the head, notably prepositional phrases, nonfinite clauses, and relative clauses[7].

Recount Text

There are many of text in English language, such as descriptive, report, narration, anecdote, and recount text. Recount text is the txt that tells about something happened in the past. It can be the writer own experience, another people experience, or the situation that happened long time ago. The purpose of recount text is delivering the story to give the information or entertain the readers.

There are many kinds of recount text. It divided into personal recount, factual recount, biographical recount, and imaginative recount. Personal recount is recount text that explain about the writer own experience. It can be sad or happy experience, such as when the writer fell from his bicycle or when the writer spent his time playing video games during holiday. Meanwhile, factual recount is explaining about something that really happen at that time. It can be about thief that run away from jail, or about the president that become the first people in Indonesia to have a COVID vaccine.

Biographical recount is kind of recount text that tells about life story of some people, it can be heroes, scientist, president, or anyone. Biographical recount can be the source of research or motivation for the readers to take a lesson from them.

Imaginative recount is kind of recount that tells about imaginary story and tells the actual thing that happened. For example, the writer tells about how she ride a unicorn in the forest, but it is only in her dream.

The structure in recount text is divided in orientation (the introduction of the story, who, when, where and anything that give information for the readers before they read the main story), events (this called main story where the writer tells about the story in chronological order, to make readers understand what the story about), and re-orientation (the summary of the text and sometimes, the writer write his comments or feelings towards the story itself).

According to their primary social purpose, recount text identified as six main genres, such aa narratives : tell a story, usually to eentertai, recount to tell what hhappene, information reports : provide factual iinformatio, instruction : tell the listeners or readers what to dd, explanation : explain why or how something happens (6) expository text: present or argue a viewpoint.[8]

As the recount text tells the situation or something happened in past, it must use past tense and action verbs. Using adverb and adverbial phrase is essential to emphasize the time and place.A rigorous literature review of studies found most teachers had either neutral or negative attitudes about inclusive education. In the classroom, teachers are taking part in delivering the materials based on students’ need with the proper method, interesting learning media, and comfortable environment that support students to understand the material easily. Teachers need to participating in teachers’ training to gain many of knowledge about inclusive education and developing their teaching skills to help the students understanding the material and maximizing their learning outcome.


In teaching and learning process, textbook used as the media for delivering the material for students, along with teacher explanation. Textbook is a kind of book that contains a comprehensive compilation of content of subjects, along with the explanation, exercises, and the review of the material. In-depth method evaluation examines the textbook in deeper and more detailed way by focusing on particular aspect such as the kind of language description, underlying assumptions about learning or values on which the materials are based, or the relevancy of materials to the context of textbook users [9]. Textbook is arranged by experts and their team as a guide for educators and students. Teacher need to choose the compatible and suitable textbook for students in helping them understanding the material. In textbook, students be able to find several examples and exercises to review at home. We can’t deny that textbook was playing the important role in developing students’ capability. Along with the globalization era, textbook was printed as a book or can be easily access by digital format.

The chosen textbook that used for this research are “Bahasa Inggris SMA/MA/SMK/MAK kelas X, which published in 2017 by Erlangga publisher, with Astuti and Lande as the author. Second, Pathway to English untuk SMA/MA Kelas X that published in 2016 by Erlangga publisher, with Sudarwati and Grace as the author. Third, Forward an English Course for Vocational High School Students Grade X by Indonesia Minister of Education and Culture that published in 2017. All of chosen textbook provides many new vocabularies and variety of noun phrase construction in recount text that able to help students in better understanding about what the text about. Besides, all of the chosen textbook has various interesting recount text from writer’s experience and some tragedy that able to facilitate students’ improvement in their reading and writing skills. Unfortunately, the information in every recount text in each text book is not detail enough, then students only knew about the basic information of the text.


Shank states that qualitative research as a “a form of systematic empirical inquiry into meaning” it means that qualitative research is planned, ordered, and public by following the rules of qualitative research community [10]. Besides, the type of inquiry is grounded in the world of experience. Lincoln also claim that qualitative research involves an interpretive and naturalistic approach: “This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or to interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. [11] Among many types of qualitative research, this research can be categories as grounded theory studies. This study is collecting the data and analysing it. Then, a theory is developed that is grounded in the data[11]

In this research, the researcher analyzes the noun phrase in the “Bahasa Inggris SMA/MA/SMK/MAK kelas X, Pathway to English untuk SMA/MA Kelas X, Forward an English Course for Vocational High School Students Grade X” textbook. The result of this research will explain in words since the main data in this research are noun phrase, grammar, syntax, and textbook that required to explain in paragraph rather than statistical number.

The object of data in this research are chosen report text in three different textbooks, such as “Bahasa Inggris SMA/MA/SMK/MAK kelas X, which published in 2017 by Erlangga publisher, with Astuti and Lande as the author. Second, Pathway to English untuk SMA/MA Kelas X that published in 2016 by Erlangga publisher, with Sudarwati and Grace as the author. Third, Forward an English Course for Vocational High School Students Grade X” by Indonesia Minister of Education and Culture that published in 2017. Researcher analysed the chosen report text to find many examples of noun phrases along with its pattern.

Research instrument is a tool for researcher in doing the research in terms of collecting the data. In this research, researcher analyzing and choosing several English text book for Senior High School as the main data of this research.

Data analysis is a process whereby researcher search and arrange the data systematically, in order to increase their understanding of the data, and able to present what they learned to others. As a source of data, the writer utilized three English textbook used in the first year Senior High School Students. There are some steps in analyzing the data in this research, they are:

  1. Identifying the noun phrase of each transcript of texts.
  2. Arranging the noun phrase based on Head-Modifier and Modifier-Head.
  3. Identifying the noun phrase construction and classifying the meaning
  4. Interpreting the result.

Result and Discussion

Researcher analysed six recount text with different theme to find out the noun phrase construction that build the text itself. The text that analysed are The Early Life of Marie Curie, Kartini Day, 9/11 Terror Attacks, A Trip to the Zoo, and The Battle of Surabaya. Researcher will category the noun phrase based on Greenbaum & Quirk table and explain what briefly about the construction and the meaning of each noun phrase.

Yesterday, my family went to the zoo to see the elephant.

When we got to the zoo, we went to the shop to buy some food to give to the animals. After getting the food we went to the nocturnal house where we saw birds and reptiles which only come out at night. Before lunch we went for a ride on the elephant. It was a thrill to ride it. Dad nearly fell off when he let go of the rope. During lunch we fed some birds in the park. In the afternoon we saw the animals being fed.

When we returned home we were tired but happy because we had so much fun.

Source: Astuti, Lande. Forward an English Course for Vocational High School Students Grade X. Penerbit Erlangga.[12]

From the text above, the researcher found many of noun phrase and its structure. The structure of noun phrase that found in “a trip to the zoo” story along with its explanation was described in table 1

Determiner Pre-mod Post-mod
Adv P CL
my went to the zoo to see theelephant
the we went to the nocturnalhouse……
a on the elephant
a to ride it
Table 1.(noun phrase found in A trip to The Zoo’s text)

“The” as an article and determiner before the noun “zoo”. This phrase refers to the place where the family going.

“The” as an article and determiner before the noun “shop”. This phrase refers to where the family buy food for animals in the zoo.

“The” as an article and determiner before the noun “animal”, the –s in “animals” emphasize that there are many animals in the zoo. This phrase refers to an object who got the food from the family.

Here, “the” as the determiner in kinds of article that placed before the noun “food”. The past participle here “went” along with the prepositional phrase tells about place where the family visited inside the zoo.

Here, “a” as the determiner in terms of article that placed before the noun “ride”. The noun followed by the prepositional phrase in explaining what the family ride in the zoo.

In this phrase, “a” as the determiner and also an article placed before the noun “thrill”. The noun followed by prepositional phrase to make whole phrase clear. Basically, this phrase tells about the family’s new experience in riding the elephant.

“The” as an article and determiner before the noun “rope”. This phrase refers to the safety attribute when you ride the elephant.

  1. My/family/went/to the zoo to see the elephant. (Det+head+past participle+PP) In this phrase, “my” as possessive adjective and also a determiner placed before the noun “family”. After the noun, there is past participle as the indication about something in the past, along with the prepositional phrase to explain more what the family did at that day.
  2. The/zoo (Det+head)
  3. The/shop (Det+head)
  4. The/animals (Det+head)
  5. The/food, /we went/to the nocturnal house where we saw birds and reptiles which only come out at night (Det+head+past participle+PP)
  6. A/ride/on the elephant. (Det+head+PP)
  7. A/thrill/to ride it (Det+head+PP)
  8. The/rope (Det+head)
  9. The/park (Det+head)

“The” as an article and determiner before the noun “park”. This phrase refers to place where the family fed the bird during lunch time.

Based on the Greenbaum & Quirk’s, the structure of noun phrase consists of pre-modifier+head+post-modifier. Pre-modifier consists of determiner, participle, or another noun that placed before the head (noun). Meanwhile, post-modifier is prepositional phrase, participle, and clause that used after the head (noun) to emphasize what the head about. The majority of noun phrase pattern that found in text was consist of (Det+head), (Det+head+PP+CL), (Det+head+PP), and (Det+head+CL) with the common determiner “the” and “a”. each of noun phrase commonly explain about the head specifically, but several of them was giving the exact explanation about previous sentence.

In line with this, the previous study stated that most commonly noun phase used in textbook consists from premod+head+postmod. Also, the complexity of noun phrase contributed to the meaning in text. The benefit of using noun phrase for writer is to connect the ideas within and between the sentence in a text easily. Another previous study also said that noun phrase made students easier to create the text comprehensively and understandable, since the commonly pattern of noun phrase in textbook was simpler than another resources.

In conclusion, this research agreed with Greenbaum & Quirk theory of noun phrase and previous study that said noun phrase is one of most important skills that every student need to master it for their better understanding about the text. Using noun phrase in text also help students to improving their writing skills, since they need to arrange the noun with its compliments for further explanation of the ideas in a sentence.


Researcher summarizes the research result based on research question. Researcher took five different recount text in different textbook for senior high school as the main object of this research, such as The text that analysed are The Early Life of Marie Curie, Kartini Day, 9/11 Terror Attacks, A Trip to the Zoo, and The Battle of Surabaya. All of the recount text in chosen textbook for senior high school students was analysed based on Greenbaum & Quirk theory of noun phrase to find out the noun phrase construction that built the text and make the text understandable for students. Based on Greenbaum & Quirk, noun phrase structured from pre-modifier, head, and post-modifier. The majority pattern of noun phrase that found in text was consist of (Det+head), (Det+head+PP+CL), (Det+head+PP), and (Det+head+CL) with most of determiner was “a” and “the” as the pre-modifier.

The most used pattern in noun phrase based on the researcher’s analysis in chosen recount text is Det+Head, then Det+Head+PP, such as the death, a son, the youngest of five children, and its role in the Persian Gulf War. The noun phrase constructions are used to explain and emphasize about the head of the sentence, along with the supporting clause to give the exact information in the text.


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