The Phrase

The simplest English sentence consists of just one word: a verb and understood subject.

Go! (You go!)

In general, to create a sentence in English we need at least a subject and a verb. There are four types of English sentences: simple, complex, compound and compound-complex. I will talk about sentences later, first I would rather learn about phrases and clauses. This part of English grammar is quite complex.

A phrase usually consists of two or more words, do not contain a pair subject-verb, can be very short or very long and complicated.

Here are two example (source)

After lunch

After slithering down the stairs and across the road to scare nearly to death Mrs Philpot busy pruning her rose bushes

There are many different types of phrases in English, usually named after a word that starts and rules the phrase: noun phrase, verb phrase, prepositional phrase, infinitive phrase,participle phrase, gerund phrase, and absolute phrase.

Here is another list of phrases with slightly different names: Absolute Phrases || Appositive Phrases || Gerund Phrases || Infinitive Phrases ||Noun Phrases || Participial Phrases || Prepositional Phrases from

To discuss phrases, clauses and sentences we need to have a good knowledge of parts of a sentence. For the start let’s say that a sentence tells us: who (subject), does what (verb), about the object of doing. Other words usually play role of modifiers, like the most common adjectives and adverbs.


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