Phrases by linzhengnd


   What is a phrase in general?

• a group of related words, centering around
  ONE part of speech, which takes on a part
  of speech and/or has specific functions in
  the sentence. Note: a phrase (in almost all
  cases) does NOT contain both a subject and
  a verb
A phrase includes the following:

• central word
• objects/complements
• modifiers
           Embedded phrase:

• a phrase within another phrase
• Example: On a beautiful Sunday morning
  in July (in July is part of the phrase because
  it tells which morning—a morning in July)
      How do we use phrases in a
• Slightly larger units of the parts of speech
• Most common: N, ADJ, ADV
         Prepositional Phrase

• a group of related words, including a
  preposition, a noun or pronoun called the
  object of the preposition, and any modifiers
  of that object.
• A prepositional phrase may act as either an
  ADJ or an ADV
    The Adverbial Prepositional Phrase

•   Julia lives in the house on the corner.
•   Phrase:
•   Embedded?
•   What does the larger phrase modify?
 Adjectival Prepositional Phrase

• Julia lives in the house on the corner.
• Phrase?
• What does it modify?
       Points to remember about
        prepositional phrases:
• Prepositions must be used with
• Objects of prepositions
• What relevance do they have to subjects?
• Prepositional phrases can appear
• How many can appear in a sentence?

• What does the word mean?
• So…verbals have the characteristics of
  verbs BUT—and it’s a BIG BUT—act as
  something else…
• What’s the something else?
• Verbal phrase—consists of the verbal, any
  modifiers, AND any objects/complements it
  may have
              The Participle
• a verb form which acts as an adjective!
• Present participle—ends in –ing
• Past participle—usually ends in –d or –ed—
  unless there is some sort of internal spelling
• EX. Go—went—gone
• EX. Be—am—was—were—been
• Perfect participle—uses a helping verb—a
  form of have (has, have, or had)
              The Participle

•   A participle may be just one word:
•   The barking dog
•   my sleeping uncle
•   The barking dog awoke my sleeping uncle.
        The Participial Phrase

• a group of words containing a verb form
  which acts as an adjective, as well as any
  objects/complements or modifiers
• Swimming in the deep end of the pool, Sarah
  performed the backstroke with ease.
• Louis, often regarded as the chief critic in his
  field, spoke to a group of fellow engineers at his
• Swimming the backstroke with ease, Sarah
  wandered to the deep end of the pool.
• Being the chief correspondent, Jim made the

• Sickened, Ralph ralphed.
             The Gerund

• a verb form which ALWAYS ends in –ing
  and ALWAYS acts as a NOUN.
• A verb form ending in –ing acting as an
  ADJ is a participle
• A verb form ending in –ing acting as a
  NOUN is a gerund
         The Gerund Phrase

• Gerund phrase—includes the gerund,
  objects/complements, and any modifiers it
  may have.

• Anything you can do with a noun, you can
  also do with a gerund:

•   Dancing is my hobby.
•   (Subject)
•   My hobby is dancing.
•   (predicate nominative)
             More Examples:

•   I love dancing.
•   (direct object)
•   I have passion for dancing.
•   (object of the preposition)
           More examples:

• Pat Benatar gave dancing a bad name.
• (indirect object)
• A bad name was given dancing by Pat
• (retained object)
             The Infinitive

• a word (usually preceded by the word ―to‖)
  used as either a NOUN, ADJECTIVE, or
        The Infinitive Phrase

• includes the infinitive as well as any
  objects/complements and modifiers it may
• Gerund=always ends in –ing
• Infinitive=usually preceded by “to” and uses
  the root, or infinitive form, of the verb
• Ex. Giving (gerund) to give (infinitive)
• Participle=ends in –d, -ed, or –ing
• Infinitive=usually preceded by “to” and uses
  the root, or infinitive form of the verb
• Ex. “The Giving Tree” =participle what kind
  of tree?
• Or the set of given circumstances =participle
  what kind of circumstances? Given
• OR a determined contestant what kind of
         Hints, continued…
• As opposed to
• To give or      to determine=infinitives!

• To + a noun=prepositional phrase
• To + a verb=infinitive phrase
     The Infinitive as a NOUN

• He really wanted to win the game. DO
• To win the game was his primary objective.
• His primary objective was to win the game.
The Infinitive as an ADJECTIVE

• His objective to win the game encouraged
  him to work harder.
• What kind of objective? to win the game
  The Infinitive as an ADVERB

• He exercised daily to win the game.
• Why did he exercise?
• His objective to win the game encouraged
  him to work harder.
• In what manner did his objective encourage
Curve ball: The Infinitive Clause

• An infinitive phrase may ALSO
  occasionally have a subject. If it does, we
  call that type of infinitive an INFINITIVE
• Ex. His family desperately wanted him to
  win the game.
• Him to win the game=infinitive clause
            The Appositive

• a Noun or Pronoun which follows
  immediately after another noun or pronoun
  and renames it.
       The Appositive Phrase

• includes the appositive itself and any
  modifiers it may have
    The Nominative Appositive
• an appositive which renames a subject or
  predicate nominative
• John, the class secretary, kept very efficient
• John=subject
• Secretary=noun which renames John, the
• Phrase=the class secretary (includes the
  appositive and all modifiers)
 Another Nominative Appositive

• The boy in the red shirt is John, the class
• Boy=subject
• Is=linking verb
• John=predicate nominative
• Secretary=still a nominative appositive
  because it renames a predicate nominative
     The Objective Appositive

• an appositive which renames any type of
• Everyone admired John, the class secretary.
• Everyone=subject
• Admired=action verb
• John=direct object
• Secretary=OBJECTIVE appositive now,
  because it renames a direct object
    Another Objective Appositive

•   Please take this to John, the class secretary.
•   Take=action verb
•   To=preposition
•   John=object of the preposition
•   Secretary=still an objective appositive
    because it renames the object of a
     The Nominative Absolute

• a noun/pronoun used ―absolutely‖ attached
  to a participial phrase. The combination of
  the two modifies or explains an ENTIRE
• Absolutely=having no grammatical function
  in the sentence
• The rain having stopped, we continued with
  our picnic.
• Subject: we
• Verb: continued
• Prepositional phrase: with our picnic
• Prep: with
• Object: picnic
• The rain having stopped
• The: article
• Rain: noun
• Having stopped: participle
• What is the function of ―rain‖ in ―We
  continued with our picnic‖?
• Rain is being used absolutely
• Nominative absolute phrase: ―The rain
  having stopped‖
• Nominative absolute: rain
• Participle: having stopped
• Modifies: We continued with our picnic.

• Sheldon and his friends jumped away from
  the tracks, the train coming toward them at
  breakneck speed.
• The students ate themselves into oblivion,
  the food beguiling them from the buffet.

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