Wednesday, April 16, 2008

English Phrases are a word or group of words used as a single value

English Phrases are a word or group of words used as a single value

An English word or group of words used as a single value (without either a subject or predicate) are called phrases. English phrases tend to be larger than individual words and are usually considered as expansions of an individual word. English phrases are smaller than clauses or sentences as they do not have subjects and predicates or subjects and verbs.

Phrase classifications are generally based on the headword, phrase function or phrase construction. We refer to the central element in an English phrase as the head of the phrase. If the head is a noun then the phrase is usually called a noun phrase.

There is some overlap when describing phrases based on either the phrase headword or phrase function. The phrase headword can usually stand alone as a one-word phrase. The headword is the only English word that cannot be omitted from a phrase.

There is some debate classifying phrases. In general these are the phrase types: Noun Phrase, Verb Phrase, Adjective Phrase, Adverb Phrase, Prepositional Phrase, Gerundive Phrase, Participial Phrase, Absolute Phrase, Infinitive Phrase and appositives.

Noun phrases perform the work of a noun in the sentence as subjects, direct objects, indirect objects, complements or objects of prepositions.

The widest definition for verb phrases states their function as predicates of sentences. A narrower definition of 'verb phrase' is the verbal elements: a main verb as the head, auxiliaries, infinitive markers and other verbal particles.

Adjectival phrases are composed of the adjectives and the elements that modify the adjectives. Adjectival phrases can occur inside noun phrases perform as modifiers to a noun phrase or act as complements.

Adverbial phrases of one or more adverbs can modify a verb, adjective, verb phrase, an adjectival phrase or an entire clause.

Prepositional phrases are used either adjectivally to modify nouns or noun phrases that can act as the object or adverbially to modify verbs, adjectives, or clauses.

Gerundive phrases can perform most of the functions of a gerund or verbal noun as subjects, objects, objects of a preposition, or even as adjectives.

Participial phrases always function as adjectives and contains the participle and the object of the participle and any words modified by or related to the participle.

Absolute phrases modify an entire sentence and usually consist of a subject noun phrase, a participial and any modifiers.

The infinitive phrase can perform three functions as a noun, adjective or adverb.

An appositive phrase renames, means the same thing as or further explains another noun or pronoun and are usually placed beside what they rename.

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