Phrases clauses and sentences

Phrases, clauses, and sentences are basic grammatical units of English language. Phrases are group of words without finite verb; whereas, clauses have finite verb but not complete meaning. Sentences have both finite verb and complete meaning.

Meaning and examples of phrases

Simply, phrase is a group of words without finite verb. Phrases are made up of determiners, modifiers, and head as per the types of phrases.

Unlike clause and sentence, phrases are only used to express certain information which is otherwise impossible to express.

Apart from this, phrases do not construct or make perfect sense of given information like sentences. Therefore, to make desired sense, its use in any sentence become unavoidable.

Phrases can be classified as-

  1. Noun Phrase
  2. Adjective Phrase
  3. Adverb Phrase
  4. Verb Phrase
  5. Prepositional Phrase, and
  6. Infinitive

These phrases play roles and functions of noun, adjective, adverbs, verb, and prepositions in the sentence. For clarity, functional role of noun or adjective can be replaced by the noun or adjective phrases.

Meaning, types and examples of clauses

Like phrase, clause is also a group of words but with finite verb as a predicate and subject.

It is more than phrase, but less than sentence in meaning and functions. Clauses have their own meaning but not complete like sentences. In order to construct complete meaning, use in sentence is essential.

Types of clauses are,

At the highest level, clauses are classified as:–

  1. Finite clause
  2. Non-finite clause
Further, finite and Non-finite clauses are classified into:–
  1. Finite clause
  2. Mainclause
  3. Dependentor subordinate
  4. Independentor co-ordinate clause.
Furthermore, subordinating or depending clauses are classified as,
  1. Subordinating or depending clauses
  2. Nounclause
  3. Adjectiveclause
  4. Adverbclause
Non-finite clauses are also divided into two types as,
  1. Non-finite clauses
  2. Defininginfinitive clause
  3. Non-defininginfinitive clause

Functional role of clauses is the same like part of speech in the given sentence as per the requirement. Noun clause plays the role of noun. Whereas, adjective and adverb clause play the roles of adjective and adverb respectively.

Meaning and types of sentences

Sentence is also a group of words having both essential parts–subject and predicate but with complete meaning or sense.

For complete meaning, sentence doesn’t need to borrow anything. Sentence can be classified as,

Types of sentences on the basis of functions

  1. Assertiveor declarative sentences
  2. Interrogativesentences
  3. Imperativesentences
  4. Exclamatorysentences

Types of sentences on the basis of structure

  1. Simple sentences
  2. Complex sentences
  3. Compound sentences
  4. Mixed sentences

All the three components–phrase, clause, and sentence in English language are building blocks of quality writing.

A single sentence may contain more than one phrase or clause.

According to the combination of more than independent clause, sentences are classified in the four types–Simple sentence, complex sentence, compound sentence, and mixed sentence.

Simple sentence only contains single clause in the form of independent clause

To be qualified complex sentence, it should include one independent clause and one or more dependent or subordinate clauses.

For compound sentence, along the independent clause, there should be one or more than one co-ordinate classes.

Finally, in the mixed sentence, both sentences complex and compound are included. It is the most complicated type of sentence. In this blog, I have tried my best to provide a better overview about phrase, cause, and sentence in English.

In the next blog, I will explain all the three components –phrases, clauses, and sentences in more detailed manner with lot of examples.

Simple examples of degrees

As soon as conjunction of time

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