Friday, February 1, 2013


A phrase is a group of related words that lacks either a subject or a predicate (verb) or both.

Examples from Write Source:
phrase:  guards the house  (The predicate lacks a subject.)
phrase:  the ancient oak tree (The subject lacks a predicate.)
phrase: with crooked old limbs (The phrase lacks both a subject and a predicate.)

independent clause:  The ancient oak tree with crooked limbs guards the house.
Together, the three phrases form a complete thought.

More from Write Source: 
Types of Phrases:  Phrases usually take their names from the main words that introduce them (prepositional phrase, verb phrase, and so on).  They are also named for the function they serve in a sentence (adverb phrase, adjective phrase).  

The ancient oak tree (noun phrase)
with crooked limbs (prepositional phrase)      Prepositions
has stood its guard (verb phrase)
very stubbornly (adverb phrase)
protecting the little house (verbal phrase).

        (Remember to beware the -ing!  If something looks like a verb, but ends in -ing and is NOT together with a helping verb, it is NOT acting as the verb in the sentence.)