2. TYPES OF PHRASES
A phrase is a group of related words that is used as a single
part of speech. It will NOT contain BOTH a subject and a
Examples: should have been practicing (there is no subject)
Behind the wood pile (there is no subject or verb)
3. TYPES OF PHRASES
There are 7 types of phrases:
4. NOUN PHRASE
A noun phrase includes a noun—a person, place, or thing—and the
modifiers which distinguish it. Think of it as a phrase that plays the role
of a noun.
Example: I like singing in the bath.
I like it.
We know that the underlined portion in the first sentence is a noun
phrase, because we can replace it with a pronoun.
5. NOUN PHRASE EXAMPLES
I know the back streets. VS. I know them.
I’ve met the last remaining chief. VS. I’ve met him.
6. VERB PHRASES
A verb phrases includes the main verb and one or more helping verbs.
Examples: Sammy was born in Miami, Florida.
He did live in Austin, Texas’ capital.
Have you not seen the owners of this home?
7. VERB PHRASES EXAMPLES
We have traveled to Mexico.
She has been teaching us English phrases.
We couldn’t wait for our first tour of the country.
Becca’s family didn’t move to Japan until last semester.
*Adverbs are not apart of verb phrases: not, never, also, again
8. PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES
A prepositional phrase will include the preposition, the object of the
preposition and any modifiers that might be included.
Example: They will fish by the river.
Object of the Preposition: River
*You will not always have a modifier in the prepositional phrase.
10. PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES EXAMPLES
The man from Texas is here. (Notice that there is No Modifier in this
The mantel was decorated with seven wreaths. (Preposition: With,
Object: Wreaths, Modifier: Seven.)
I have already looked in the closet, the bathroom, and the bedroom.
(There are three objects in this sentence within the Prepositional
11. ADJECTIVAL PHRASES
An adjectival phrase is a prepositional phrase that modifies a noun or
pronoun. A prepositional phrase can be used to modify different parts of
a sentence, so every prepositional phrase is not also a adjectival phrase.
12. ADJECTIVAL PHRASE EXAMPLES
Examples: The theme of the story is love. (The adjectival phrase
modifies the noun, theme.)
The letter from my dad about the trip is funny. (Both
adjectival phrases modify the noun, letter.)
Many of the paintings by that artist have been sold. (The
first adjectival phrase, of the paintings, modifies the pronoun, many. The
second adjectival phrase, by that artist, modifies the noun, paintings.)
13. PARTICIPIAL PHRASES
An participial phrase is a adjectival phrase that begins with a participle.
*A participle is a verb that is given an ending that turns it into an
adjective. The Verb The Past Participle The Present Participle
To rise The risen sun The rising sun
To cook The cooked fish The cooking fish
To break The broken heart The breaking heart
14. PARTICIPIAL PHRASE EXAMPLES
Examples: Rising out of the sea in front of us, the whale was
breathtakingly strong and majestic. (Rising is the participial. The phrase
describes the noun, whale.)
Printed on the very first press, the document was highly celebrated.
Broken by the stone, the window had to be replaced before the next
15. ABSOLUTE PHRASES
An absolute phrase is a participle, a noun, and any modifiers. Unlike
some of the other phrases, an absolute phrase will modify the entire
16. ABSOLUTE PHASE EXAMPLES
Examples: Legs quivering (Legs is the noun and quivering is the participle. Together
they make the absolute phase).
Legs quivering, our old dog Gizmo dreamed of chasing squirrels. (The absolute
phrase modifies the entire clause.)
Her arms folded across her chest (arms: noun, folded: participle, her/across her
chest: modifiers) *Notice that this is not a complete thought. Therefore, an
absolute phrase is not a sentence itself.
Her arms folded across her chest, Professor Hill warned the class about the
penalties of plagiarism.
17. ADVERBIAL PHRASES
An adverbial phrase is a prepositional phrase that is used to modify a
verb, and adjective, or an adverb. Make sure to identify the word that
the prepositional phrase modifies or you will get confused on how the
prepositional phrase is being used in a sentence.
18. ADVERBIAL PHRASE EXAMPLES
Examples: Samantha ran to the store. (The adverbial phrase modifies
the verb ran. Ran where?)
The pilot is aware of the situation. (The adverbial phrase
modifies the adjective, aware.)
Early in the morning she head her doorbell ring.(The
adverbial phrase modifies the adverb, early.)