# how to recognize a modifier and a complement in an unclear NPs

You can take those examples which I find very hard and show me on them which is a complement and which a modifier?

• The idea that he proposed //The idea that it will rain I don't know, seems similar (maybe both modifiers?).
• The man to contact for the job.// Her insistence to see the manuscript. I have no idea here (I would say both are complements).
• A belief in Politics. //A ring of gold. Here are again both examples complements (I would say).
• A ban on military training. // The book on the table. Again both modifiers (but I am just guessing).

I understand that complements are obligatory because they are licensed by the noun but I don´t know what does it mean and how can I make a test to be able to recognize them. I tried so many times but I don't see any logic in it so I often confuse their use (using a modifier instead of a complement) .

• Your question is very unclear and should go in ELL anyway, and not here. I think you need to review your understanding of modifier and complement. What do you mean by switch between them?? There is nothing unclear in any of your sentences or phrases. Commented May 17, 2023 at 18:17
• Relative infinitives (the man to see, the right man to do it) are syntactically complex and have any number of peculiarities (like only allowing relative pronouns that have been pied-piped, for instance (the man with whom to speak, but *the man who(m) to speak to). Commented May 17, 2023 at 21:58
• @Lambie, In our university, we distinguish between complements as an obligatory elements and modifiers as an optional elements. I have a hard time recognizing which should be used and when.
– Anu
Commented May 18, 2023 at 8:45
• 1A is ambiguous; could be either. 1B is a complement. 2A modifier. 2B ungrammatical. 3A Complement (cf *a belief of politics). 4A Complement. 4B modifier. Commented May 18, 2023 at 15:20
• @Araucaria-him, thank you, however, you can see that I match incorrectly almost every example, can you tell me your strategy for the recognition?
– Anu
Commented May 18, 2023 at 15:59