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Hi, was just hoping for some clarification to see if I've got this right. Could the phrase "Rules ignored" be read in two ways, both as a noun and a verb phrase? Such as:

Rules were ignored - verb phrase
Ignored rules - noun phrase.

I'm not too good with this sort of thing, so any help would be much appreciated, thanks!
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Richard WRules were ignored - verb phrase
Ignored rules - noun phrase.In my opinion, you have it exactly right. Both readings (meanings) are possible.

I'm sure you understand that these are not sentences, but perhaps headings above lists.

Often these designations are determined by the way the phrase is used in a sentence.
"Rules were ignored." (with the period) happens to be a complete sentence.
Alternately, within a sentence, it would be a clause:
"You have to understand that rules were ignored!"

In the sentence, "Ignored rules are our biggest source of errors," your phrase functions as the subject of the sentence - definitely a noun function.

Could the phrase "Rules ignored" be read in two ways

Without the "were," "rules ignored" is the same as "ignored rules."
The collocation is similar in structure to "lessons learned" / "learned lessons."

Thanks for joining EF, Richard. We appreciate your membership. Welcome! [<:o)]

Best wishes, - A.
Comments  
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I'd just add that in "Rules were ignored", the underlined sequence is the verb phrase, and "Rules" is the subject. In your second example, "Ignored rules" is indeed a noun phrase with "rules" as the head (main word) of the phrase and "ignored" as its modifier. "Ignored", here, is the past-participle of the verb "ignore"; it's function is very much like that of an adjective (cf "strict/terrible/fair rules") but it isn't actually a ''real' adjective so we call it a verb phrase (VP) acting as a modifier.

BillJ
Hi, Bill. Thanks for the definition of "head of the phrase." I've been laboring under a misapprehension. Emotion: surprise (probably no news)