Clauses and phrases are the building blocks of sentences. Every sentence must have at least one clause to be considered grammatically correct. Understanding how clauses and phrases work will help you better understand sentence structure. You’ll need to have a working knowledge of subjects, predicates, and objects before you continue.
A clause is a subject and a predicate working together.
A sentence can have more than one clause, but it needs AT LEAST ONE CLAUSE or it is a fragment, not a sentence.
Itook the dog to the park. Ilove learning, so Ispend a lot of time reading.
In the first example sentence, the action is took. Ask yourself, "Who took?" Since I takes the verb, I is the subject. Together, the subject and the predicate form a clause. So the first example sentence has one clause.
The predicate in the second sentence is love. So we ask ourselves, "who loves?" The answer to this question is I, so I takes the predicate love. Together, they form a clause. But there is another predicate in this sentence. Spend is also a predicate. Once again, the subject I takes this predicate. So this example sentence has one subject and predicate working together in the first clause, and a second subject and predicate working together in the next clause. The second example sentence has two clauses.
A phrase is a group of words related to the subject, predicate, or object.
Phrases do not contain a subject and a predicate, or we would call them clauses. Phrases provide additional information about subjects, predicates, and / or objects. Understanding how phrases work is helpful when analyzing sentence structure.
After working late into the night, Jack fell asleep on his desk. I left my keys inside of the Whole Foods, my favorite grocery store.
In these example sentences, the phrases are red. The first example sentence has a predicate, fell, and a subject, Jack. The phrase provides additional information about the subject, but it is not required to form a complete sentence. The phrase does not contain a subject and a predicate. It cannot grammatically stand by itself.
In the second example sentence, the predicate is left and the subject is I. On the other side of the sentence, a phrase provides additional information about an object in the sentence, Whole Foods. Phrases can come at the beginning, middle, or end of sentences. Try reading the sentence without the phrase and notice that the sentence does not actually NEED the phrase. It is grammatically nonessential. Then try reading the phrase without the rest of the sentence. Notice that it hangs? The phrase depends on the sentence to complete its meaning.
L.1 - Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.K.1f - Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities. L.1.1j - Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts. L.2.1f - Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy). L.3.1i - Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences. L.4.1e - Form and use prepositional phrases. L.4.1f - Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons. L.7.1a - Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences. L.9-10.1b - Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.
Priya/ September 29, 2020
Can u explain dependent and independent phrase and clause
Mr. Morton/ December 7, 2020
Independent clauses have a subject and a predicate and express a complete thought. Dependent clauses have a subject and a predicate but do not express a complete thought because of a conjunction like “because.”
Pulkit/ July 19, 2019
Please sir can you explain the types of clauses
Pulkit/ July 19, 2019
Sir can you teach me some tricks to identify phrases and clauses tomorrow is my exam
Ariv/ July 18, 2019
I still dont understand it
Amudha Godfrey Fernando/ March 4, 2019
Can u give the answer
As soon as possible
Mr. Morton/ March 6, 2019
Nishi/ February 28, 2019
Plz provide some worksheet and test papers to
Solve and gain more marks
Mustansir/ February 21, 2019
I want to give test of adverb clauses and phrases
Ritika/ October 13, 2018
What is a phrase?
Mr. Morton/ October 13, 2018
A phrase is a group of words containing a subject OR predicate (or object) but not a subject AND a predicate. A subject AND a predicate makes a clause.
There are lots of different types of phrases. For example, the prepositional phrase, which provides information about the location of the subject or object in time and/or space.
I left my folder under the desk.
This is a prepositional phrase providing more information about the location of an object (the folder) in relation to another object (the desk).
Phrases often provide additional information and are not essential to the sentence construction, unlike the clause, which is the essential part of the sentence, I left in the above example.
Chirag Shah/ October 3, 2018
Very nice work Mr Morton
Keira/ July 3, 2018
Thanks a lot. This helped me. Tomorrow is my exam and this is just the right thing i need.. Thanks a lot! Have a nice day, Mr. Morton. 😀
surjith/ September 17, 2017
This is very useful for learning.it teaches us more.it is very good job.I am 7th grade.
blue/ September 5, 2017
i liked the worksheets.
it was good.
Alegbe Joyce/ May 21, 2017
meghana/ May 20, 2017
sir what is the difference between a subordinate
and coordinating clause?
jane/ May 15, 2017
Can you have a dependent clause without subject or verb even though it does not have a complete thought?
Mr. Morton/ May 31, 2017
No, by definition a clause must have a subject and a predicate. Conjunctions are what make them dependent.
mubasher ktk/ March 18, 2017
I am confused in sentence , phrase and clause. Give me 10 of 5 examples of each in a same sentence
Mr. Morton/ March 22, 2017
1. This is a clause.
2. Clauses have subjects and predicates.
3. Clauses can stand by themselves and express a complete thought.
4. Some sentences have multiple clauses.
5. Sentences with just one clause are called “simple sentences.”
1. The frequently used phrases
2. cannot stand alone
3. The red, red horse
Well, I hope you get the idea.
farah/ July 13, 2018
Thanks a lot sir. This is really helpful for the second language learners.
taylor/ March 13, 2017
this is kind of tough sir. any extra helps??
jamal/ March 6, 2017
Tell me whether it is phrase or clause in following sentence
Because of the cost which I bought from the pot pouri
Mal/ March 10, 2019
because of the cost which i bought from the poy pouri
Jamal first ,the punctuation of your sentence is wrong.It should be like – Because of the cost, which i bought from pot pouri.
so, this sentence is a subordinate clause.
logan waldschmidt/ March 2, 2017
could you please make a dependent and independent clause about how to become a ninjas please today
Jacquilin/ January 31, 2017
I am confused between Past Perfect and Present Perfect tense.
Mr. Morton/ March 13, 2017
What confuses you?
Lavish Beniwal/ December 13, 2016
What is the difference between phrase and dependent clause?
Mr. Morton/ March 14, 2017
A clause has a subject and a predicate. A phrase does not.
Krithik/ September 8, 2016
Help me in clauses
Mr. Morton/ September 10, 2016
How can I help you?
dharmendra shakya/ February 8, 2016
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Mr. Morton/ February 9, 2016
Sentences are grammatical units containing at least one subject and a predicate.
Predicates are verbs.
Tense is related to verbs.
It is well known that verbs express actions,
but it is lesser known that verbs have the extra role of showing time.
We conjugate verbs to show time. This is called verb tense.
Since every sentence must have a verb, and every verb has a tense, every sentence has a tense.
Let’s Look at an Example:
Mr. Morton walked to the store.
This sentence has one predicate, which is the verb walked.
Walked is the past tense verb form of walk.
The past tense form of a verb shows that the action occurred in the past. It is usually formed by adding “-ed” to the end of the verb.
If you want to know more about verbs and verb tense, or subjects and predicates, you should check out my free parts of speech web app. I think Units 2 and 6 would be of interest to you.
nada kh./ November 30, 2015
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Kanika/ September 19, 2014
Thank u for sorting out my problem . Have a nice day
Mr. Morton/ September 25, 2014
Thank you. You as well.
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Allison/ August 28, 2013
*Your (Come on, you’re on a grammar website.)