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