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Phrases & Clauses

What are they? How are they different?

The main difference:

Phrases DO NOT
have BOTH a subject & a verb
Clauses DO HAVE

BOTH a subject & a verb

4 Types
No Subject & Verb

1: Prepositional Phrase
Prepositional Phrase = Preposition + Noun from the house = from (prep) + (noun) the house behind a rock = behind (prep) + (noun) a rock
Other examples of prepositional phrases:

during the movie about his messy room around the track near the field

2: Participial Phrase
A participle is a verb used as another part of speech. Participles are easy to recognize: they end in ing or ed.
For example: running water, baked apples, loving husband, loaded gun, etc More examples: looking closely, staying up all night, studying the History notes

3: Infinitive Phrase
To + verb = Infinitive phrase If you have ever studied a foreign language, you might remember that verbs are always studied w/the infinitive first:
I love you love he/she/it loves

to love (the infinitive form)

we love you love they love

3: Infinitive Phrase
to run a mile to start over to do homework all night to win the contest to wake up early


Infinitive phrases begin with the infinitive form of the verb

4: Noun Phrases
Adjective + Noun = Noun Phrase

The tall building A smoky, crowded room Screaming, half-naked toddlers Nests of yellow and red striped snakes

Its fairly easy to identify the different types of phrases, except for those beginning with to: to run a mile (infinitive) to the football stadium

to finish my homework (infinitive) to the teacher (prepositional)

3 types

Have BOTH Subject & Verb

Independent Clause
Independent clauses have a subject & verb and can stand alone. Another word for independent clause is SENTENCE or MAIN CLAUSE Examples: The doctor finished the examination. Students leave campus after class.

Dependent Clause
Dependent clauses have subjects & verbs, but they cannot stand alone Dependent clauses usually begin with subordinating conjunctions such as although, because, when, since, if, unless Examples: Because I left early If we find my notebook

Dependent Clauses
Dependent clauses require a complete thought to make them complete Written alone, dependent clauses create suspense for whats to comelike a cliffhanger:

Because a rattlesnake has

made a home under our bed

Dependent Clauses

Because a rattlesnake has

made a home under our bed (dependent clause)

We purchased a mongoose to

sleep with us. (sentence/main clause) Because a rattlesnake has made a home under our bed, we purchased a mongoose to sleep with us.

Examples of Dependent Clauses

Although I spent three hours studying, Because the children had hidden the key, If students sign up early, Unless the weather prevents travel, When everyone finished dinner, After the schedule is published, Before a hurricane hits an area, (Note how each of these requires something to follow it.)

Relative Clauses
Relative clauses are easy to recognize. They begin with WHO, WHICH, or THAT. They are not questions, but part of sentences. Examples: Martin, who usually finishes first, was unable to beat my record. Pasta, which used to be included in most diets, has been replaced by high-protein foods. Toys that the dog chewed up must be thrown away.

The words before and after can appear in either prepositional phrases or dependent clauses. Prepositional phrases: after the storm/ before the alarm Dependent clauses: after the storm ended; before the alarm rang.

Phrase Review
Prepositional: above the clouds / near my house / along the shore Participial: leaving work early /
sleeping until noon / celebrating the holidays, filled with liquid

Infinitive: to walk the dog / to play the piano / to watch our favorite TV show Noun: a blue glass / fifty wild iguanas

Clause Review
Independent/Main Clause
(Sentence) Broccoli is my favorite food.

Dependent Clause Because

broccoli is my favorite food

Relative Clause favorite food

which is my

End of presentation.

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