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Phrase and Clause

The first and most important purpose of grammar is to make sentences right and meaningful. In order to make a right pattern and meaningful sentence, we should know about the phrases along with other parts of speech. In this lesson, we will learn about the phrase, its types and uses. Phrases are very important while learning types of sentence according to structure.

The phrase

Before knowing phrase, see the following examples.

I saw a fox.  Here, Subject – I, Verb – saw, and object – a fox.

But, while I say, I saw a fox without a tail. Here, see the underlined part is also an object. a fox without a tail  it used  instead of a fox. Here all these words are expressing the same meaning like only a single word. These group of words are called as phrase. And one more thing, a phrase must not have any finite verb, they may or may not have a non-finite verb.

Learn Phrase and Clause

So we can say, “A phrase is a group of words which has no subject and no finite verb, and acts as a single element or unit of any sentence, often carrying an idiomatic meaning.”

See, I have told that phrase works like only one parts of speech.

I saw a fox without a tail, in this sentence the underlined part (phrase) works as a noun. Because it is the objective of this sentence. Remember, phrase can act as any one of part of speech except pronoun.

According to this, we get the following types of phrases.

  1. Noun phrase.
  2. Adjective phrase.
  3. Adverbial phrase.
  4. Prepositional phrase.
  5. Conjunctional phrase.
  6. Interjectional phrase.

Noun phrase: Noun phrase is a type of phrase in which a group of words acts as a noun.

Example – To take exercise is good for health. The underlined part is a noun phrase.

Another example – The probability of rain is much.

Adjective phrase: When a group of words works as an adjective is called as an adjective phrase.


  • He seems to be idle. = He seems to be idle in nature.
  • He is a good man. = He is a man of good taste.

Adverbial phrase: When a group of words works as an adverb is called as an adverbial phrase.


He came in a hurry. (In a hurry= hurriedly). Hurriedly is an adjective.

The athlete runs at a great speed.  Underlined part is an adjective phrase.

Prepositional phrase: When a group of words works as a preposition is called as an prepositional phrase.


  • He sacrificed his life for the sake of his country.
  • He could not go to college on account of his illness.

Here the underlined part works as a preposition (for).

Conjunctional phrase:

(i). Work hard. And (ii). you will succeed in life.

Here see, if you want to make one sentence with these two sentences you must need a word which will connect these two sentences. This word is known as conjunction. But when a phrase  a group of words) works as a conjunction then it is called as conjunctional phrase.

Examples are –

  1. Work hard in order that you will succeed in life.
  2. Read attentively so that you will pass in the exam.
  3. No sooner had we went out than it began to rain.

The underlined parts are conjunctional phrase.

We know that interjections are found I exclamatory sentences.

Examples – Hurrah! We have won the game.

Here the interjection is Hurrah. But when we use a phrase instead of interjection then the phrase is called interjectional phrase.

See the followings –

  1. What a pleasure! We have won the game.
  2. What a pity! He is dead.
  3. What a pleasure! The book is very interesting.

Look, the underlined parts are used like an interjection. So we can say them interjectional phrase.

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