What is a phrase?

A phrase is a group of words that makes some sense but not complete sense. Examples are given below: a great poet, the last bus, the most memorable journey, under the table etc.

A phrase is part of a sentence.

  • I go to church every Sunday. (Here the expression every Sunday is a phrase.)
  • The sun rises in the east. (Here the expression ‘in the east’ is an example of a phrase.)
  • There are some apples on the tree. (Here the expression ‘on the tree’ is an example of a phrase.’)

As you can see, a phrase does not make complete sense. Also, it does not have a subject or a finite verb.

There are different types of phrases.

Study the examples given below.

  • We boarded the last train. (Here the phrase ‘the last train’ acts as the object of the verb boarded. A phrase that serves as the subject or object of a verb is a noun phrase.)
  • My eldest brother serves in the army. (Here the phrase ‘my eldest brother’ serves as the subject of the verb ‘serves’. It is a noun phrase.)
  • I don’t get along with my landlord. (Here the phrase ‘get along with’ serves as the verb. It is therefore a verb phrase.)
  • Seeing a crowd, I stopped the car. (Here the phrase ‘seeing a crowd’ is an example of a participial phrase.)
  • Knocking at the door, he demanded admission. (Here the phrase ‘knocking at the door’ is an example of a participial phrase.)
  • The spider is on the roof. (Here the phrase ‘on the roof’ is an example of a prepositional phrase.)

A phrase that begins with a participle is a participial phrase. Likewise, a phrase that begins with a preposition is a prepositional phrase.

Exercise

Underline the phrases in the following sentences.

1. An old farmer lives in that hut.

2. The dog recognized his master at once.

3. There are some flowering plants in the garden.

4. He has some serious issues with his boss.

5. The frog was sitting on the log.

Answers

1. An old farmer lives in that hut.

2. The dog recognized his master at once.

3. There are some flowering plants in the garden.

4. He has some serious issues with his boss.

5. The frog was sitting on the log.

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Manjusha

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets. You may also want to check out my other blogs IELTS Practice and NCERT Guides

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