Phrases: Meaning And Kinds Of Phrases

A phrase is a group of words which in a sentence functions as a single part of speech, usually adjective or adverb but which does not contain a finite verb.

Although some kind of meaning can be extracted from phrases they do not on their own make complete sense.

Kinds Of Phrases

There are several kinds of phrases found in the English language. They derive their names from the most importance word that begins the phrases. E.g.

1. Adjectival Phrase:

Like the part of speech called adjectives, the adjectival phrase qualifies nouns or pronouns. It is also looked at as a prepositional phrase which modifies a noun or pronoun by telling what kind or which one is meant. An adjectival phrase starts with a preposition and it usually follows its noun.

Adjectival Phrases In Sentences

1. A car with a power steering is strongly built.

2. The dancer with the blue eyes fainted on stage.

3. The man in a large hat is the criminal.

4. The flowers in the garden have dried up.

2. Adverbial Phrase: As the name implies, this type of phrase modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb.

Adverbial phrases point out why, where, when, how, in what manner or to what extent something has been done.

Adverbial Phrases In Sentences

1. After a two-day seminar, the man collapsed. >> When?

2. My dresses are in the close! >>Where?

3. The defence counsel chose his words with care >>How?

4. We went to Oguta Lake on a picnic. >>Why?

3. Noun Phrase: This functions as a noun. It can be used as an object or subject of the verb, but does not make complete sense. A noun phrase answers the question >> what?

Noun Phrases In Sentences

1. I learnt how to set dresses from my mother.

2. The man asked for a plate of food to eat.

3. The story is a figment of your imagination.

4. Stella told Judith what to do to her hair.

4. Prepositional Phrase: The prepositional phrase often starts and ends with a preposition, but there are exceptions to this rule. It has either a noun or pronoun as its object.

Prepositional Phrases In Sentences

1. I found the letter in front of my door.

2. He said that by the way of a digression.

3. In spite of the warnings she went out in the rain.

4. She insulted her father because of her boy friend.

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