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PHRASES: DEFINITION, TYPES, AND EXAMPLE

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If you want to improve your English grammar, you need to work on phrases and clauses since these are the most important elements of grammar. After all, a sentence cannot lack them. They are the most essential parts of a sentence. Before proceeding further, it is only fair that you understand what a phrase and a clause really are.

So, what is a phrase in grammar?

According to the Macmillan dictionary, a phrase is simply a group of words that are used together in a fixed expression. A clause, on the other hand, is a group of words with a subject and a verb. Actually, the difference between a clause and a phrase is that the former consists of a subject and a verb whereas the latter does not.

Clauses can be seen as the building blocks of a sentence, whereas phrases can be regarded as the support structures of a sentence. In other words, clauses allow us to create a sentence, but phrases enable a sentence to be meaningful. Nevertheless, a phrase will always be present within a clause, but a clause cannot be part of a phrase.

Types of Phrases:

There are eight different types of phrases commonly used in English grammar.

These are:

  1. Noun Phrases
  2. Verb Phrase
  3. Gerund Phrase
  4. Infinitive Phrases
  5. Appositive Phrases
  6. Participial Phrases
  7. Prepositional Phrases
  8. Absolute Phrases

Noun Phrases

Noun phrases consist of nouns and all their modifiers.

Examples of noun phrases are as follows:

• The terrified fox jumped off the edge and crushed on the rock.

• The dental facility recorded a higher number of patients last week.

• It was a story as horrifying as it sounds.

Verb Phrases

Verb phrases are made up of verbs and all their modifiers.

Examples of verb phrases include:

• He was intending for us to succeed.

• She was mad when I did not show up.

• They have been living a lie for such a long time.

Gerund Phrases

Gerund phrases are noun phrases that begin with gerunds (nouns formed by adding ‘-ing’ to a verb, that describes an action, like ‘sleeping’ or ‘begging’)

For example:

• Making out in the rain is fun for many women.

• Texting while driving can be dangerous.

• Talking too much in front of people is not pleasant.

Infinitive Phrases

Infinitive phrases are noun phrases that start with verbs that are in their infinitive forms.

For example:

• To hit the jackpot, you have to tamper with their systems secretly.

• I tried to offer advice, but she was too arrogant.

• She refused to prepare food for days to make a statement.

Appositive Phrases

Appositive phrases restate and define a noun. They are made up of one or more words.

For instance:

• Her favorite hobby, gossiping, pisses a lot of people.

• My car, Mercedes G63 SUV, remains to be my pride and joy.

• My girlfriend, wife-to-be, has never given me a reason to doubt.

Participial Phrases

Participial phrases start with past or present participles.

Examples of sentences are as follows:

• Having won so many fights, Mayweather can be said to be one of the most successful lightweight boxers of all time.

• Broke as hell, life no longer appealed to him.

• Going by the rumors flying around, there could be an assassination attempt soon.

Prepositional Phrases

Prepositional phrases begin with prepositions and can act as nouns, adverbs or adjectives.

For example:

• In the end, we all have to win.

• On this day, he was born.

• In this season, we are not tolerating nonsense.

Absolute Phrases

Absolute phrases comprise of subjects, but not action verbs, so they cannot stand alone as complete sentences. These phrases modify the whole sentence, not just nouns.

Here are some examples of absolute phrases:

• Backed by the Soviets, the president of Syria continued to be defiant against the West.

• Thirsty, hungry and exhausted, the homeless man decided to turn back.

• Broke and without any other solid military strategy, America decided to pull away from Syria.

HERE IS GIST ON PHRASES:

WHAT IS PHRASES WITH TYPES AND EXAMPLE

Although Phrases can be classified as:

  1. Noun Phrases
  2. Verb Phrases
  3. Adjective Phrases
  4. Adverb Phrases
  5. Prepositional Phrases


Up to this point, I hope everything is straightforward and needs no clarity or further explanation.

If so, let us look at a few examples of phrases to help your understanding.

Let me show you some example of Phrases:

  • The dental facility recorded a higher number of patients last week.
  • It was a story as horrifying as it sounds.
  • He was intending for us to succeed.
  • She was mad when I did not show up.
  • They have been living a lie for such a long time.
  • Making out in the rain is fun for many women.
  • Texting while driving can be dangerous.
  • Talking too much in front of people is not cute.
  • To hit the jackpot, you have to tamper with their systems secretly.
  • I tried to offer advice, but she was too arrogant.
  • She refused to prepare food for days to make a statement.
  • Her favorite hobby, gossiping, pisses a lot of people.
  • My car, Mercedes G 63 SUV, remains to be my pride and joy.
  • My girlfriend, wife-to-be, has never given me a reason to doubt.
  • Having won so many fights, Mayweather can be said to be one of the most successful lightweight boxers of all time.
  • Broke as hell, life no longer appealed to him.
  • Going by the rumors flying around, there could be an assassination attempt soon.
  • I am really disappointed, considering how much I have paid in vain.
  • They were looking forward to meeting the actor, having heard so many great stories about him in the past.
  • On this day, he was born.
  • In this season, we are not tolerating nonsense.
  • Backed by the Soviets, the president of Syria continued to be defiant against the West.
  • Thirsty, hungry and exhausted, the homeless man decided to turn back.
  • Broke and without any other solid military strategy, America decided to pull away from Syria.
  • The terrified fox jumped off the edge and crushed on the rock.

Final Thoughts:

If you want to improve your English grammar, you should start by learning phrases and clauses. These are the basic elements of grammar. Understand these examples of different types of phrases and do a lot of phrases exercises until you perfect yourself. With nothing more to add, good luck in learning phrases.

Recommended video on Phrases:

Video Source: NIHIR SHAH

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PHRASES: DEFINITION, TYPES, AND EXAMPLE
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