Phrases :

Substitutes for the Parts of Speech


A group of connected words, not containing a subject and a predicate, is called a phrase.

A phrase is often equivalent to a part of speech.

(1) A phrase used as a noun is called a noun-phrase.

(2) A phrase used as a verb is called a verb-phrase.

(3) A phrase used as an adjective is called an adjective phrase.

(4) A phrase used as an adverb is called an adverbial phrase.

Adjective or adverbial phrases consisting of a preposition and its object, with or without other words, may be called prepositional phrases.


A clause is a group of words that forms part of a sentence and that contains a subject and a predicate.

A clause used as a part of speech is called a subordinate clause. All other clauses are said to be independent.

Clauses of the same order or rank are said to be coördinate.

Sentences may be simple, compound, or complex.

(1) A simple sentence has but one subject and one predicate, either or both of which may be compound.

(2) A compound sentence consists of two or more independent coördinate clauses, which may or may not be joined by conjunctions.

(3) A complex sentence consists of two or more clauses, one of which is independent and the rest subordinate.

A compound sentence in which one or more of the coördinate clauses are complex is called a compound complex sentence.

Subordinate clauses, like phrases, are used as parts of speech. They serve as substitutes for nouns, for adjectives, or for adverbs.

(1) A subordinate clause that is used as a noun is called a noun (or substantive) clause.

(2) A subordinate clause that modifies a substantive is called an adjective clause.

(3) A subordinate clause that serves as an adverbial modifier is called an adverbial clause.

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