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Introduction to Phrases

Phrases are considered as the second level of classification as they tend to be larger than individual words, but are smaller than sentences. We refer to the central element in a phrase as the head of the phrase. If the head is a noun then the phrase is called a noun phrase. 1. NOUN PHRASES Noun phrases may serve as subjects, direct objects, indirect objects, or objects of prepositions. Most noun phrases are constructed using determiners, adjectives and a head noun. Examples: My coach is happy. (noun phrase as subject) 2. VERB PHRASES Verb phrases are composed of the verbs of the sentence and any modifiers of the verbs, including adverbs, prepositional phrases or objects. Most verb phrases function as predicates of sentences. Example: Henry made my coach very proud. (verb phrase as predicate) 3. ADJECTIVAL PHRASES Adjectival phrases are composed of the adjectives that modify a noun and any adverbs or other elements that modify those adjectives. Adjectival phrases always occur inside noun phrases or as predicate adjectives. Example: Dad bought [(a blue and green) sweater] 4. ADVERBIAL PHRASES Adverbial phrases are composed of the adverbs that modify verbs, adjectives, or clauses. Adverbial phrases may occur with more than one word. The extra adverb is called an intensifier. Example: He scored the goal very quickly. 5. PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES Prepositional phrases are composed of the preposition and a following noun phrase. Prepositional phrases are used either adjectivally to modify nouns or adverbially to modify verbs, adjectives, or clauses. Examples: The man in the house rented it. (prepositional phrase modifies a noun adjectivally) He went in the arena. (prepositional phrase modifies a verb adverbially) Dad was happy about the goal. (prepositional phrase modifies an adjective adverbially) On reflection, I believe that she was correct. (prepositional phrase modifies a clause adverbially)

6. GERUNDIVE PHRASES Gerundive phrases may function in any way in which nouns may function: as subjects, objects, objects of a preposition, or even nouns functioning as adjectives Gerundive phrases may contain gerunds, adjectives, objects, adverbs or other main verb elements. Example: Dad talked about winning the game. 7. PARTICIPIAL PHRASES Participles are root verbs with an "ed, en or ing" suffix. In the case of the past participial, the form may be irregular. Participial phrases may contain objects and other elements that might occur with main verbs. Participial phrases always function as adjectives. Example: Racing around the corner, he slipped and fell. 8. ABSOLUTE PHRASES Absolute phrases are composed of a subject noun phrase and a participial phrase. The absolute phrase is formally independent of the main clause. The subject of the absolute phrase does not have to appear in the main clause--because the absolute phrase has its own subject! Example: [(My chores) (completed for the week)], I went on a walk. 9. INFINITIVE PHRASES Infinitive phrases are composed of an infinitive verb (the base form of the verb preceded by to) and any modifing adverbs or prepositional phrases. The infinitive phrase has three functions: noun, adjective, adverb. Examples: My duty as a coach is to teach skills. (infinitive phrase functions as a noun) My sister wanted a cat to love. (infinitive phrase functions as an adjective) Bill is eager to work on his skating. (infinitive phrase functions adverbially, modifying an adjective)

Introduction to Clauses All clauses have a subject and a verb. 1. INDEPENDENT CLAUSE This clause is a sentence and can act as a sentence. Example: I wanted a new ball. 2. SUBORDINATE CLAUSES A subordinate clause has a subordinator. Examples: Fred knew that I wanted a new ball. 3. ADVERBIAL CLAUSES Adverbial clauses modify the entire independent clause or another subordinate clause to which they might be attached. Some adverbial subordinators:" because, while, as, if, when, although, as if, after, since, unless, before, until". Adverbial clauses signal common adverbial meanings such as time of the event, place of the event, manner of the event, cause of the event or condition for the event. Examples: I haven't been skating since we all went up to Banff last winter. He stood there as if he was frozen to the very spot. Fred jogs where there is no traffic because he likes it. 4. RELATIVE CLAUSES Relative clauses modify nouns and sometimes indefinite pronouns. Relative clauses occur with the relative pronouns "that, who, which, whom, whose" Relative clauses may also begin with the following relative adverbs "when, where, why". Examples: I saw the player [who hit you]. I saw the player [that hit you]. I like the park [where I jog]. I would like to know the reason [why you didn't eat the vegtables]. 5. NOMINAL CLAUSES Nominal clauses function as nouns and are subordinated by one of the following subordinating conjunctions 'how that what when where whether which who why". Nominal clauses may be replaced with a pronoun Examples: [How you did it] is not my concern. (That is not my concern) [That I wanted a ball] was irrelevant in the discussion. ( It was irrelevant )

A. Adjective clauses perform the same function in sentences that adjectives do: they modify nouns.
The teacher has a car. (Car is a noun.) Its a new car. (New is an adjective which modifies car.) The car that she is driving is not hers. (That she is driving is an adjective clause which modifies car. Its a clause because it has a subject (she) and a predicate (is driving); its an adjective clause because it modifies a noun.) Note that adjectives usually precede the nouns they modify; adjective clauses always follow the nouns they modify.

B. A sentence which contains one adjective clause and one independent clause is the result of combining two clauses which contain a repeated noun. You can combine two independent clauses to make one sentence containing an adjective clause by following these steps:
1. You must have two clauses which contain a repeated noun (or pronoun, or noun and pronoun which refer to the same thing). Here are two examples: The book is on the table. + I like the book. The man is here. + The man wants the book. 2. Delete the repeated noun and replace it with a relative pronoun in the clause you want to make dependent. See C. below for information on relative pronouns. The book is on the table. + I like which The man is here. + who wants the book 3. Move the relative pronoun to the beginning of its clause (if it is not already there). The clause is now an adjective clause. The book is on the table. + which I like The man is here. + who wants the book 4. Put the adjective clause immediately after the noun phrase it modifies (the repeated noun): The book which I like is on the table. The man who wants the book is here.

C. The subordinators in adjective clauses are called relative pronouns.


1. These are the most important relative pronouns: who, whom, that, which. These relative pronouns can be omitted when they are objects of verbs. When they are objects of prepositions, they can be omitted when they do not follow the preposition. WHO replaces nouns and pronouns that refer to people. It cannot replace nouns and pronouns that refer to animals or things. It can be the subject of a verb. In informal writing (but not in academic writing), it can be used as the object of a verb. WHOM replaces nouns and pronouns that refer to people. It cannot replace nouns and pronouns that refer to animals or things. It can be the object of a verb or preposition. It cannot be the subject of a verb.

WHICH replaces nouns and pronouns that refer to animals or things. It cannot replace nouns and pronouns that refer to people. It can be the subject of a verb. It can also be the object of a verb or preposition. THAT replaces nouns and pronouns that refer to people, animals or things. It can be the subject of a verb. It can also be the object of a verb or preposition (but that cannot follow a preposition; whom, which, and whose are the only relative pronouns that can follow a preposition).

2. The following words can also be used as relative pronouns: whose, when, where. WHOSE replaces possessive forms of nouns and pronouns (see WF11 and pro in Correction Symbols Two). It can refer to people, animals or things. It can be part of a subject or part of an object of a verb or preposition, but it cannot be a complete subject or object. Whose cannot be omitted. Here are examples with whose: The man is happy. + I found the mans wallet. = The man whose wallet I found is happy. The girl is excited. + Her mother won the lottery. = The girl whose mother won the lottery is excited. WHEN replaces a time (in + year, in + month, on + day,...). It cannot be a subject. It can be omitted. Here is an example with when: I will never forget the day. + I graduated on that day.= I will never forget the day when I graduated. The same meaning can be expressed in other ways: I will never forget the day on which I graduated. I will never forget the day that I graduated. I will never forget the day I graduated. WHERE replaces a place (in + country, in + city, at + school,...). It cannot be a subject. It can be omitted but a preposition (at, in, to) usually must be added. Here is an example with where: The building is new. + He works in the building. = The building where he works is new. The same meaning can be expressed in other ways: The building in which he works is new. The building which he works in is new. The building that he works in is new. The building he works in is new.

D. Adjective clauses can be restrictive or nonrestrictive.

1. A restrictive adjective clause contains information that is necessary to identify the noun it modifies. If a restrictive adjective clause is removed from a sentence, the meaning of the main clause changes. A restrictive adjective clause is not separated from the main clause by a comma or commas. Most adjective clauses are restrictive; all of the examples of adjective clauses above are restrictive. Here is another example:
People who cant swim should not jump into the ocean.

2. A nonrestrictive adjective clause gives additional information about the noun it modifies but is not necessary to identify that noun. If a nonrestrictive adjective clause is removed from a sentence, the meaning of the main clause does not change. A nonrestrictive adjective clause is separated from the main clause by a comma or commas. The relative pronoun that cannot be used in nonrestrictive adjective clauses. The relative pronoun cannot be omitted from a nonrestrictive clause. Here is an example:
Billy, who couldnt swim, should not have jumped into the ocean.

E. Adjective clauses can often be reduced to phrases. The relative pronoun (RP) must be the subject of the verb in the adjective clause. Adjective clauses can be reduced to phrases in two different ways depending on the verb in the adjective clause. 1. RP + BE = 0
People who are living in glass houses should not throw stones. (clause) People living in glass houses should not throw stones. (phrase) Mary applied for a job that was advertised in the paper. (clause) Mary applied for a job advertised in the paper. (phrase)

2. RP + OTHER VERB (not BE) = OTHER VERB + ing


People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.(clause) People living in glass houses should not throw stones. (phrase) Students who sit in the front row usually participate more. (clause) Students sitting in the front row usually participate more. (phrase)

Adverb Clauses in Complex Sentences

An adverb clause is a dependent clause that does the work of an adverb in a complex sentence. Most adverbs modify or add information about the verb or verb phrase of the main clause. An adverb clause may also modify an adjective or an adverb. ADVERB CLAUSE MAIN CLAUSE
VERB/VERB PHRASE

ADVERB CLAUSE
CLAUSE MARKER SUBJECT + PREDICATE, ETC.

CLAUSE SUBJECT + SUBMARKER PREDICATE, JECT ETC.

1 2 3 4 5 After I wrote a letter, 6 While I was walking, 7 Because I didnt find you, 8 Since I had nothing to do, 9 After the balls are packed, 10 11 Because She was disturbed, 12 Usage

We

used to live in the before village You didnt tell me when about it A car hit a tree where I I I I I they She She wanted to spend as my time decided to see a movie. saw a traffic accident. went by myself. came here. are sent to shops. Has been the headmaster Was angry. Please, release me let me go since

we moved here. we left school. the street makes a turn. I thought best.

I first taught here in 1987

for

I dont love you anymore.

In the sentences in the above frame, the adverb clauses modify the verb phrases of the main clauses. An adverb clause may come at the beginning or at the end of the complex sentence. If it comes at the beginning of the sentence, it is commonly followed by a comma (see sentence 58). If it comes at the end of the sentence it needs not and usually should not be preceded by a comma (see sentences 14). Note: A sentence may have adverb clauses at the beginning and at the end of the sentence at the same time. Example: While I was walking, I saw a traffic accident where a similar accident had happened a week before.

Adverb clauses may be divided into several types, depending on the kind of information they give. There are adverb clauses of; a) time An adverb clause of time can be introduced by the following clause markers: after, before, when, whenever, as, as soon as, until, while, once, since The adverb clauses in sentences 1, 2, 5 and 6 in the frame are adverb clauses of time. In sentence 1, for example, the adverb clause before we moved here gives information about when we used to live in the village. b) place An adverb clause of place can be introduced by: where, wherever. In sentence 3 in the frame, the adverb clause is an adverb clause of place. It tells about where a car hit a tree. c) manner An adverb clause of manner may be introduced by as, as if. In sentence 4 in the frame, the adverb clause is an adverb clause of manner. It tells how I wanted to spend my time. d) cause (reason) An adverb clause of cause (reason) may be introduced by: because, since, as, for. The adverb clauses in sentences 7 and 8 are adverb clauses of cause (reason). In sentence 8, for example, the clause since I had nothing to do gives information about why I came here. e) purpose An adverb clause of purpose can be introduced by: so, so that, in order that, such that, enough that Example: He studied hard so that he would pass the exam. The adverb clause so that he would pass the exam tells what he studied hard for. f) concession An adverb clause of concession may be introduced by though, although, eventhough, while, nevertheless (namun demikian), even if (sekalipun) Example: He failed eventhough he had studied hard. g) condition An adverb clause of condition may be introduced by if, unless, as long as, on condition that. Example: Ill go by myself if you cant go. (See also Unit 13).

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