You are on page 1of 30

Levels 3 & 4:

Phrases & Clauses

The Magic Lens


by Michael Clay Thompson

A phrase is like a
flying formation of
birds: it is
something made of
some things. It is a
part of speech made
of some words. A
phrase is NOT a
complete idea

. . . a group of words
without a subject and its
predicate, that acts like a
single part of speech.

The PHRASE vs. The CLAUSE


Both phrases and clauses are
groups of words, but a clause
contains a subject and a predicate,
and a phrase does not.
Example (s):
I jumped is a clause.
In the boat is only a phrase.

Phrases are found (inside)


clauses;
they are a part of clauses.
Clauses have subjects and
predicates.
Phrases dont.

1. Attracting Appositives
Do you want to say something twice? Use an
APPOSITIVE!
Typically, an appositive is a noun or a pronoun that is
exactly the same as the noun or the pronoun that
precedes it in the sentence.
It provides further information about the noun or
pronoun.
The appositive can be referred to as a noun renamer.
An appositive may consist of only one word, or it may
consist of an entire phrase.
An appositive usually begins with an article (a, an,
the).

Stop! Identify the APPOSITIVE


PHRASES in the sentences below.
1.
2.

3.
4.

Raven, the girl whose hair


matches her name, is thinking of
changing her name to Goldie.
Tee Rex, holder of the coveted
Dinosaur of the Year trophy, has
signed an endorsement deal with
a company that makes extralarge sneakers.
Lochness, the Spy of the Month,
will hold a press conference
tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Lola, a fan of motorcycles,
acknowledges that life in the fast
lane is sometimes hard on the
complexion.

2. The Objects of My Affection:


Prepositional Phrases and their Objects
Prepositions never travel alone. They are
always with an object.
The preposition relates its object to
another word in the sentence.
Prepositional phrases are modifiers. They
act like BIG adjectives or BIG adverbs.
The object of the preposition is always a
noun or a pronoun, or perhaps one or two
of each.

Example:The empanadas
by the stove are mighty
tasty.
The prepositional
phrase by the stove
modifies empanadas.
Which empanadas?
The ones by the
stove.
This particular
prepositional phrase
is acting like a BIG
ADJECTIVE.

Stop! Identify the PREPOSITIONAL


PHRASES in the sentences below.
1. In the afternoon, the snow pelted
Eggworthy on his little bald head.
2. Marilyn thought that the election of
the aardvark to the senate was quite
unfair.
3. The heroic teacher pounded the
grammar rules into her students
tired brains.

3. Getting VERBAL
A verbal is a verb form used
as a different part of speech.
A verbal is NOT a verb! It is
a former verb now doing
something else.
A verbal can be a single
word, or it can join other
words to make a phrase.
There are three types of
verbals:
1. Gerunds
2. Participles
3. Infinitives

Verbal #1: Gerunds


The noun and the verb get
married, move into a little
house on the prairie, and
pretty soon the pitter-patter of
little syllables hits the
airwaves.
The children of this happy
marriage are gerunds, which
inherit some characteristics
from both their mother, the
verb, and their father, the
noun.

Characteristics of
GERUNDS

They end in -ing and look like


verbs.
Example(s): swimming,
dripping, being, bopping,
bribing, etc.
They act like nouns.
Example(s): Swimming is
fun.
They can be the subject of
the sentence or a direct
object - anything a noun can
be.

Stop! Identify the GERUND PHRASES


in the sentences below.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Swimming the Atlantic Ocean was


not exactly what Ludmilla had in
mind when she married Ludwig.
Analivia, a neat person in every
possible way, hates my dripping
ice cream on the rug.
The importance of being earnest
in ones playwriting cannot be
over-emphasized.
After bopping Lochness on the
nose, Legghorn took off at about
100 m.p.h.
Felonia gave bribing the umpire
serious consideration when her
team lost its 450th game in a row.

Verbal #2: PARTICIPIAL


PHRASES
Participles are verbals that always
act like adjectives.
Participles can end in various verby
endings such as -ing or -ed or -en,
but they will always modify a noun
or a pronoun.

Example: Walking the dog,


the girl enjoyed a stroll.
The participial phrase
consists of the participle
walking + an object (the
dog).
Which girl?
The girl walking the dog.
The phrase is acting like
a BIG ADJECTIVE
modifying girl.

Notice how the participial phrase can be


in either present or past form.
At the beginning with present participle form:
1. Hanging out on the street corner, I break dance like a freak!
2. Running the class like a drill sergeant, Mrs. Joiner pounded
grammar into our brains.
3. Eating a five-course meal in class, the student tried to be
inconspicuous.
At the beginning with a past participle form:
1. Abandoned in the 1940s, the house on Kensington is said to
be haunted.
2. Shattered into a million pieces, my heart aches without the
presence of grammar.
3. Used to transport oil across the ocean, the ship no longer
passes government inspections.

Stop! Underline the PARTICIPLES and


PARTICIPIAL PHRASES in the sentences
below.
1. Ludmilla is exhausted.
2. Felonias concerto sounds enchanting.
3. Someone, having angered the herd of
cattle, is running for the fence at the
speed of light.
4. I want to read the new anti-bubble
gum law passed by the senate.
5. Poked in the tummy, the baby doll
immediately said, Watch it, Buster!
6. Smashed against the picture window,
Lolas nose looked sore.

Verbal #3: INFINITIVES


The INFINITIVE is
another happy child of
two different parts of
speech.
An infinitive is a noun,
adjective, or adverb
made from the toform of the verb.
An infinitive is viewed
as one word.

We want to party until dawn.


-Infinitive phrase as a noun
(DO).
We live to party until dawn.
-Infinitive phrase as an ADV
modifying live.
The desire to party until dawn is too
much.
-Infinitive phrase as ADJ
modifying desire.

Stop! Underline the INFINITIVE


PHRASES in the sentences below.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

To dance on Broadway is
Lolas lifelong dream.
During cabinet meetings,
Ludwig likes to dream
with his eyes open.
Lulus lifelong goal is to
be silly when everyone
else is serious.
Ludmilla went to that
nightclub just to dally.
The case to prosecute is
the one about the
exploding donut.

Level 4: All You Need to Know


(and May Have Forgotten)
about CLAUSES
A CLAUSE is a group of words that
contains a subject and its predicate.
Two kinds of CLAUSES exist 1. Independent Clause (I):
Makes sense independently.
2. Dependent Clause (D):
Does NOT make sense unless it can
HANG ON TO an independent clause.

Types of Dependent
[Subordinate] Clauses
1. ADJECTIVE DEPENDENT CLAUSE

Also called a RELATIVE CLAUSE


Used as an ADJECTIVE
A short, dependent clause which follows a
noun or pronoun and modifies it
Often interrupts the main clause by dividing
the subject and the predicate
Begins with a RELATIVE PRONOUN
who, whom, whose, which, that

Types of Dependent
[Subordinate] Clauses
1. ADJECTIVE DEPENDENT CLAUSE
Examples:
The man who followed you turned
left.
We watched the man who turned
left.

Types of Dependent
[Subordinate] Clauses
2. ESSENTIAL/NONESSENTIAL
ADJECTIVE CLAUSES
ESSENTIAL = Necessary to the
meaning of the sentence.
No commas are needed around an
essential clause
Ex. The man who followed you turned
left.

Types of Dependent
[Subordinate] Clauses
2. ESSENTIAL/NONESSENTIAL
ADJECTIVE CLAUSES
NON-ESSENTIAL = Unnecessary to the
meaning of the sentence
Place commas around nonessential
clauses
- Ex. The man, who happened to know
Mr. Schnell, turned left.

Types of Dependent
[Subordinate] Clauses
That vs. Which
The relative pronoun THAT often indicates
an essential adjective clause.
Ex. The book that you lost is on the shelf.
The relative pronoun WHICH often
indicates a non-essential adjective clause.
Ex. The book, which I enjoyed too, is on
the shelf.

Types of Dependent
[Subordinate] Clauses
3. Adverb Dependent Clause
Dependent clause which acts as a
BIG Adverb
Usually begins with a
subordinating conjunction
Ex. I jumped when the shark
attacked.

Types of Dependent
[Subordinate] Clauses
4. Noun Dependent Clause
Dependent clause which acts as a
NOUN
Noun clause acts as a Direct
Object in the following example
Ex. I wish that I liked music.

Where Dependent
[Subordinate] Clauses Go
Cannot be used as sentences by
themselves
Depend on an independent clause
for meaning
May be placed before, after, or
even in the middle of an
independent clause