• Mrs. LaFrance’s Notes about

    Phrases and Clauses

    A phrase is a group of words that functions in a sentence as a SINGLE part of speech.

              It does not have a SUBJECT and VERB!

    Kinds of Phrases

    prepositional - begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun called the object of the preposition

                                       P          OBJ                     P OBJ

                               Ex: in the meadow               with them

    A prepositional phrase that acts as an adjective is called an

    adjective phrase. It modifies a noun or pronoun by telling what kind or which one. Adjective phrases usually follow its noun or pronoun.

                                               N        ADJ PHRASE

                              Ex: The lady with the brown hair is my sister.

    A prepositional phrase that acts as an adverb is called an

    adverb phrase. It modifies a verb, adjective or adverb and points out where, when, in what way, or to what extent. Adverb phrases do not always appear close to the words they modify.

                               V                    ADV PHRASE       

                               Ex: Put the soda in the refrigerator.

    Appositive is a noun or pronoun placed after another noun or

    pronoun to identify, rename or explain the preceding word.

                      Ex: The new student, John Smith, really likes it here.

    An appositive phrase is a noun or pronoun with modifiers. The appositive noun can be followed by an adjective or adverb prepositional phrase.

                                        ADJ. PREP. PHRASE

    Ex: Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, is south of our school.


    Participle is a form of a verb that acts as an adjective. Two kinds of participles:

                               present participles (end in -ing)

    Ex: going, playing, running      The playing puppy is fun to watch.


                       past participles (usually end in -ed or if irregular

                                        verbs, different endings, such as -t or -en)

    Ex: jumped, hurt, moved   The hurt runner made it over the finish line.

             A participial phrase is a present or past participle that is modified by an adverb or adverb phrase or that has a complement.   The entire phrase acts as an adjective in a sentence.

             Ex: The diner, chewing rapidly, called a waiter.

    Participle or Verb?   How do you know?

    Hint: Verb phrase (verb with helping verbs) ALWAYS begins with a helping verb!    Ex: The child was running in the hallway.

             Participle used as an adjective stands by itself and modifies a noun or pronoun.     Ex: The running child was in the hallway.


    A gerund is a form of verb that acts as a noun and ends in -ing

    Gerunds can be used where nouns are used in sentences. 

    Gerunds can be used in different places: 

              Subject Ex: Skating is my favorite sport.

             Direct Object   Ex: Jack loves skating.

             Predicate Noun   Ex: His favorite sport is skating.

             Object of a Preposition   Ex: Jack rises early for skating.

    A gerund phrase is a gerund with modifiers that act as a noun.

    Gerund with Adjectives  

     Ex: The loud, annoying banging kept us awake.

    Gerund with Direct Object    

    Ex: Banging the hammer all night got the job completed.

       Gerund with Prepositional Phrase    Ex: He helped the police by telling about his experience.                                                                                                    .

    Gerund with Adverb and Prepositional Phrase

    Ex:   Pueblo tribe members astound spectators

                               by dancing skillfully on stage.      


              An infinitive is the form of a verb that comes after the word to and acts as a noun, adjective or adverb. Ex: to run, to walk, to be, to have     


             Infinitives used as Nouns

    Subject                    Ex: To run is difficult for some people.

    Direct Object           Ex: With much practice, Mary hopes to run.

    Predicate Noun           Ex: Mary’s dream is to run in competition.

    Object of a

    Preposition                  Ex: The squirrel had not choice

                                                except to run from the dog.

    Appositive               Ex: Her love, to run, drives her to practice.

             Infinitives used as Adjectives and Adverbs


    Ex: In our school, the first person to run in the five                                                  mile meet was Mary’s sister.


    Ex: The race is easy to run for many.


    An infinitive phrase is an infinitive with modifiers acting together as a single part of speech.

    Infinitive with Adverb                

    Ex: It will be important to run daily.

    Infinitive with Prepositional Phrase

    Ex: To run in the race, Mary will train                                                                         with her sister.

    Infinitive with Direct Object and Prepositional Phrase          

    Ex: Many hours will be spent to run the race throughout the town.

    Infinitive with Indirect and Direct Objects         

    Ex: Mary needs to give her sister her workout plans.