Phrases and Clauses
Gifted Language Arts 8
What is a Phrase?
A phrase is a group of words that function in a
sentence as a single part of speech.
Phrases do not contain a subject and verb.
Phrases get their names from the word that
starts the phrase or from the most important
word in it: prepositional, appositive, participial,
gerund, and infinitive.
A prepositional phrase under the window
begins with a preposition (prep) (obj. prep)
and ends with a noun or near them
The noun or pronoun is
called the object of the at the store
A prepositional phrase by the flowers and the
can act as an adjective trees
Acting as an Adjective
Describes a noun or One of the
pronoun lifeguards will be
Answers the question there.
Which one? The businessman
What kind? from Miami went
How many/much? home.
Adjective phrases The climate of
must follow the noun South Florida is
or pronoun that they warm.
Acting as an Adverb
Describes a verb, She walked along
adjective, or other adverb the beach.
Answers the question After a two hour
Where? delay, the bus left.
How? words can be
To what extent? prepositions or
The adverb phrase is adverbs. Adverbs
placed as closely as have no objects:
possible to the word it
modifies or at the Please come inside.
beginning of the The umpire ran past.
Verbals are verb forms used as another part of
speech (noun, adjective, or adverb).
A participle is a form of a verb that acts as an
Present Participles Past Participles
end in –ing end in -ed
The blinding storm left The conquered territory
us stranded. was under Spanish control.
Troubled, she asked for
A growing baby sleeps
much of the day.
A participial phrase is a The diner, chewing
group of words made up rapidly, called for the
of a past or present waiter.
participle and its Eating his lunch, the
modifiers (adverbs) or waiter did not respond.
The entire phrase acts Verb Phrase or Participle:
as an adjective in the Verb Phrase: The car
sentence. was racing around the
Remember that Participle: The racing
participles are not the car crashed into a wall.
same as verb phrases.
Verb phrases begin with
An appositive is a noun or pronoun placed after
another noun or pronoun to identify, rename, or
explain the preceding word.
The poet Robert Frost is much-admired.
This antique car, a Studebaker, is worth thousands
An appositive phrase is an appositive with its
The painting, a mural in many bright colors,
highlights the entrance.
A gerund is a form of a verb that acts as a
Like present participles, gerunds end in -ing.
Present participles act as adjectives, while
gerunds act as nouns.
Gerunds can be used as the following:
Subjects: Remodeling the house was a good idea.
Direct objects: Michael enjoys painting.
Predicate nouns: His favorite sport is fishing.
Objects of prepositions: Lucille never gets tired of
A gerund phrase is a gerund with modifiers or a
complement, all acting together as a noun.
Subject: The loud, shrilling howling continued all
Direct Object: Lance began practicing his flute.
Object of Preposition: Before playing a piece, he studied
Predicate Noun: My favorite activity is reading
voraciously for pleasure.
Gerund or Participle?
A gerund is used as a noun:
Singing softly was difficult.
A participle is used as an adjective:
Singing softly, he calmed the baby.
An infinitive is the form of the verb that comes
after the word to.
to do, to be, to eat, to live
It can act as a noun, adjective, or adverb.
An infinitive phrase is an infinitive with
modifiers or a complement, all acting as a
single part of speech
to listen carefully, to ski in New Mexico, to give you
Infinitives Used as Nouns
As a noun, an infinitive can be used as the
Subject: To whistle is difficult for some people.
Direct Object: As soon as she gets home, she plans
to write a letter.
Predicate Noun: His dream has always been to
travel to France.
Object of a Preposition: The children had no choice
except to leave the mall.
Appositive: Her decision to listen was a wise one.
Infinitives Used as
Adjectives and Adverbs
Now is the time to This is easy to do
leave Easy how? To do
What time? To leave He is well enough to
The person to travel.
contact is the How well? To travel
Which person? To