Phrase: Types of Phrase

len Alfred Ajibola - Mon, 09th March, 2020 @ 11:07

Topics in English

Phrase: Types of Phrase Clause and Types of Clause explained Essay: How to write the major types of essay Nouns, Adjectives and Examples of Nouns formed from Adjectives Homonyms - Meaning and Examples of Homonyms Idioms and Examples of Idioms Synonyms: Meaning and Examples of Synonyms Figures of Speech: Meaning, Examples and Types of Figure of Speech Relative pronouns and Compound Relative Pronouns explained with Examples Transitive and Intransitive Verbs explained with Examples Phrase explained with examples Essay: Formal, Semi-Formal and Informal Essays explained

Academic Questions in English

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Peter and Paul are always fighting _____.

  • A. themselves
  • B. each other
  • C. one another
  • D. the other

The young lady _____ tears when she heard about the disaster.

  • A. broke out into
  • B. broke out
  • C. broke into
  • D. broke off
  • E. broke down with
  • F. broke out with

The man is consistently assertive while his son is rather _____.

From the options below, which word correctly fills the gap and is also opposite to the underlined word.

  • A. reserved
  • B. respectful
  • C. cautious
  • D. open minded
  • E. cowardly
  • F. brave

The plural form of advice is _____.

  • A. advices
  • B. advise
  • C. advice
  • D. advicies
  • E. advicer
  • F. advicers

Idioms are best defined as _____.

  • A. Sentences that are logically reversed
  • B. Words that relate to a specific sentence
  • C. A clause containing two or more phrases
  • D. Phrases whose meaning does not contain the individual words it contain
  • E. Illogical words with logical meanings
  • Rational words with partial meaning as used in the sentence

Her followers on social media considered her to be reprobate unlike her twin sister whom many see as being _____.

From the options below, which word correctly fills the gap and is also opposite to the underlined word.

  • A. godly
  • B. morally upright
  • C. prudent
  • D. conservative
  • E. cautious
  • F. diligent

Words with same spelling, same sound and different meanings are referred to as _____.

  • A. Homonyms
  • B. Homographs
  • C. Homophones
  • D. Synonyms
  • E. Antonyms
  • F. Homophobes

A man who writes a book is called an author. A woman who writes a book is called an _____.

  • A. author
  • B. authoress
  • C. authorite
  • D. authority
  • E. authress
  • F. auther

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Concept of a Phrase:

A phrase is a grammatical term referring to a group of words that does not have a subject and a verb (together in a sentence). On its own, a phrase cannot make a complete thought or meaning. For this reason, it must therefore be appended to a clause in order to make a grammatically correct sentence.

Please read more on Clause and Types of Clause here.

The words that make up a phrase cannot make a complete thought, sense or grammatically correct sentence because they lack a subject + verb.

Below is an example of a phrase.

  • In the school

The above instance is a phrase because it has neither a subject nor a verb; thus does not make a complete thought.

Please read more on the Meaning and Examples of Phrase here.

Recall that the subject of a sentence is the doer of an action. The verb is simply the action done by the subject. In short, the verb is an action word or a doing word.

Below is an instance that identifies the subject and verb in a sentence.

  • Alfred loves education

From the above instance, Alfred is the subject because he is the doer of an action. The action shown by Alfred is love. Therefore, love is the verb in the above instance.

You can read on Transitive and Intransitive Verbs explained with Examples here.

Types of Phrase

We have different types of phrase. Always understand that a phrase cannot make a complete sentence, thought or meaning on its own.

The types of phrase include:

1. Noun or Nominal Phrase

It always contain a noun. When a nominal phrase is present in a grammatically correct sentence, the noun within it can function as the subject, object, or prepositional object in the sentence. For example:

  • The beautiful woman in the bank is my mother.

Notice that the phrase 'in the bank contains the noun 'bank'.

Please read on Nouns, Adjectives and Examples of Nouns formed from Adjectives here.

2. Verb Phrase

This phrase contains a verb with another word or words (without a subject). For example:

  • We saw her dance, when we were studying.

Notice that the phrase 'saw her dance' contain the verbs 'saw' and 'dance' with another word - 'her'.

You can read on Homonyms here.

3. Adverbial Phrase

They are group of words (that cannot make a complete thought); but will function as an adverb in a sentence. For example:

  • Ade ate very quickly.

Notice that the phrase 'very quickly' contains the adverb 'quickly' which described the manner at which Ade ate.

Note: An adverb is a word that qualifies or describes a verb. The word 'ate' is the verb in the above instance and the adverb 'quickly' describes how Ade ate.

You can read on Synonyms here.

4. Prepositional Phrase

They are phrases that consists of a preposition and a noun (or a preposition and a pronoun).

Note: A preposition is a word that link together nouns, pronouns, or phrases to other words within a sentence.

You can read on Relative Pronouns and Compound Relative Pronouns here.

Below is an example of a prepositional phrase:

  • The food is on the cupboard.

From the above instance, 'on' is a preposition; and the prepositional phrase "on the cupboard" contains the preposition 'on' and a noun 'cupboard'.

5. Gerund Phrase

Any verb ending with '-ing' is called a gerund. A gerund phrase include the gerund in combination with any modifier and complement. An example is shown below:

  • Kelechi and Chioma had fun dancing at the party.

Notice that the verb 'dance" contains an 'ing' which makes it a gerund. Its presence (that is; dancing) in the underlined phrase makes it a gerund phrase.

You can read on Idioms and Examples of Idioms here.

6. Infinitive Phrase

Any form of a verb that begins with the word 'to' is called an infinitive verb.

An infinitive phrase therefore include the infinitive, plus any modifier or complement. For example:

  • Tunde love to surprise children.

The above phrase is an infinitive phrase because it begins with the infinitive 'to'.

You can read on Essay Writing here.

7. Appositive phrase

When a noun phrase renames another noun in a sentence, then it's called an appositive phrase. For Example:

  • The lady, a fair beauty, was pleasing to look at.

Notice that the appositive phrase 'a fair beauty" described and renamed "the lady" in the above sentence.

Please read more on Figures of Speech here.

8. Participle phrase

A participle phrase begins with '-ing' (for present participle) and '-ed' (for past participle); plus its modifiers. The participle phrase often functions as adjectives in a grammatically correct sentence.

Note: An adjective is a word that qualifies or describes a noun.

Below are examples of sentences containing the participle phrase:

  • The boys playing in the field never seemed to tire.
  • The baby cried through out the night.

Notice that the participle phrases 'playing in the field' and 'cried through out the night' began with the participle 'playing and cried respectively. In addition, they describe the nouns 'boys' and 'baby' in the above instances.

9. Adjectival Phrase

They are group of words that function as an adjective in a sentence. For example:

  • The young man is handsome.

Notice that the phrase 'is handsome' contains the adjective 'handsome' which describes the young man.

Recall that an adjective is a word that qualifies or describes a noun or a pronoun. In the above instance, 'handsome' is the adjective and it describes the young man.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Homonyms are words with the same spellings, same sounds but different meanings.

Below are some sentences containing homonyms with their respective meanings

  • Keen

We have a keen match against Ronaldo’s team and Messi seems to be keen.

Keen: An involvement of people competing very hard for something.
Keen: Very interested in something.


  • Tear

Regardless the tear you shed, Mr. Frank will still tear your examination scripts.

Tear: The drop of liquid that comes out from a person's eye when they cry.
Tear: To damage something by pulling or cutting it apart.


  • Jot

There isn't any jot of truth in what he said, so I didn't jot  anything down.

Jot: A very small amount of somethin

Jot: To write something quickly

Please read more on Homonyms here

Certain words in English language appear to be similar but are quite different in meaning.

The table below shows some examples











You can check out the difference in meanings of the words above.

Note: Synonyms are different words with similar meanings. Please read on synonyms here.

Some words always exist in the plural form. Examples of such words are:

  • Scissors
  • Shears
  • Alms
  • News
  • Trousers

Possessive adjective tells you the owner of a thing. For instance;

This is his car.

His” in the above statement is describing him as the owner of the car; and this makes “his” a possessive adjective.

That is your bag.

Your” is a possessive adjective in the above statement.

Note: An adjective is a word that describes a noun.

Possessive pronouns show possession. A possessive pronoun will always correspond to with each of the personal pronouns. For Instance

I own the book. (“I” is a personal pronoun)

The book is mine. (“Mine” is the possessive pronoun)

She owns a car. (“She” is a personal pronoun)

The car is hers. (“Hers” is the possessive pronoun)