- This topic is empty.
May 25, 2021 at 6:05 pm #26201Law GiriKeymaster
Phrases and clauses
Before we get into phrases and clauses, we need to first understand a sentence.
What is a sentence?
Sentence: You halt!
Sentence: Please halt right now, before you go any further.
Each of these three word groups is a sentence because they each meet the three requirements for a sentence. To be a sentence, a group of words must
Have a subject (noun or pronoun)
Have a predicate (verb or verb phrase)
Express a complete thought
Subject verb SHOULD MAKE SENSE
A sentence has two parts: a subject includes the noun or pronoun that tells what the subject is about. The predicate includes the verb that describes what the subject is doing.
You can also look at it this way:
A subject is that performs the action in a sentence. It’s the doer of the action.
An object is on what the action is performed. It’s the receiver of the action.
Subject Predicate (You is understood but unstated) Halt! Freedom Is the most important thing A tiger Does not attack humans Several tourists Love to roam around in Himalayas Some books Teach you a lot about life
Being able to recognize the subject and the verb in a sentence will help you make sure that your own sentences are complete and clear. To check that you have included the subject and verb in your sentence, follow these steps-
To find the subject, ask yourself.
“What word is the sentence describing? “
TO find an action verb, ask yourself,
“What did the subject do? “
If you can’t find an action verb, look for a linking verb.
_ in a question, the verb often comes before the subject. For Example : “ Are you going for the party?” The verb is “are”; the subject is “you”.
The Four Different Sentence Functions
There are four functions in English: declarative, exclamatory, interrogative and imperative.
- Declarative Sentences are of the most important type. Declarative sentences simply state a fact or argument – an idea. They end with a period.
For Example –
New Delhi is the capital of India.
The distinction between interests and hobbies eludes me.
He asked what was cooked for Dinner.
- Exclamatory Sentences- or exclamations are simply more forceful versions of declarative sentences, marked at the end with an exclamation mark. They convey strong emotions.
What a beautiful car!
The cook did it!
The glass is smashed!
- Interrogative Sentences give a direct command to someone – this type of sentence can end with a period or with an exclamation mark, depending on how forceful the command is mark. Imperative sentences often omit the subject, as in command.
Clean up your room!
Finish your Homework!
A phrase is a part of a sentence that lacks either the subject or the verb or both; so obviously doesn’t make complete sense. A phrase cannot stand alone as a sentence, but is used in a sentence as a single part of speech.
A phrase is a group of words that functions in a sentence as a single part of speech. A phrase does not have a subject or a verb, so it cannot stand alone as an independent unit- it can function only as a part of speech. As you write you use phrases to add detail by describing.
Phrases help you express more clearly
A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or a pronoun. This noun or pronoun is called the “object of the preposition”
By the sea
Over the mountain
In the ocean
Prepositional Phrases can further be classified into two types:-
Type of Phrase Definition Examples Prepositional Begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or a pronoun · Near the waterhole
· Over the wall
· Under the car
Adjectival Prepositional phrase that functions as an adjective Shreya has a dress with blue stripes. Adverbial Prepositional phrase that functions as an adverb. The tiger jumped with a loud roar. Appositive Noun or Pronoun that renames another noun or pronoun. Vikram, a musician likes to be alone. Verbal Verb form used as another part of Speech. See Participle, Gerund, Infinitive Participle Verabal phrase that functions as an adjective. Moving fast, the car was uncontrollable. Gerund Verabal phrase that functions as a noun. Thinking creatively requires patience. Infinitive Verbal phrase that begins with an infinitive and that functions as a noun, adjectives or adverb. To forget the past is not easy.
- Adjectival Phrase
When a prepositional phrase serves as an adjective it is called an adjectival phrase. So it describes a noun or a pronoun just like an adjective does. To find out if a prepositional phrase is functioning as an adjectival phrase, see if it answers these questions “Which one?” or “What kind?”
- The taste of the pastry was disgustingly appalling.
The adjectival phrase “of the pastry” describes the noun taste.
- The boy with the hat looks really good.
The adjectival Phrase “with the hat” describes the noun boy.
- Adverbial Phrases
When a prepositional phrase serves as an adverb it’s called an adverbial phrase. So it describes a verb, an adjective. Or adverb, just like an adverb does. To find out if prepositional phrase is functioning as an adverbial phrase, see if it answers one of these questions “Where?” “When?” “In what manner?” “To what extend?”
- The doors played at Woodstock.
The adverbial phrase “at Woodstock” modifies the verb played.
- The story ended in a happy way.
The adverbial phrase “in a happy way “modifies the verb ended.
Appositives and Appositive Phrases
An apposite is a noun or a pronoun that renames another noun or pronoun. Appositives are placed directly after the nouns or pronouns they identify. Appositive phrases are nouns or pronouns with modifiers.
- Azaad, a freedom fighter, died for his country.
The appositive “A freedom fighter” renames the noun Azaad.
- Rahul’s jean, a Levi’s was torn on a fight.
The appositive a Levi’s renames the noun jean.
- Rahul’s new jean, a blue 501 Levi’s was torn in a fight.
The appositive phrase “a blue 501 Levi’s “renames the noun jean.
A verbal phrase is a verb form used as another part of speech. Verbal’s come in three varieties: participles, gerunds and infinitives. Each type has a different function in a sentence:
- Participles function as adjectives.
- Gerunds function as nouns.
- Infinitives function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs.
Although a verbal phrase doesn’t function as a verb in a sentence, it does retain two qualities of a verb:
- A verbal phrase can be described by adverbs and adverbial phrases.
- A verbal phrase can add modifiers to become a verbal phrase.
Verbal phrases are of three types:
- Participle Phrases
A participle is a form of a Verb that functions as an adjective. There are two main kinds of participles: Present participle and past participles
- Present participles end in –ing (jumping, burning, speaking)
- Past Participles usually end in- ed , -t, or –en ( jumped, burnt, spoken)
- Pooja has a singing doll.
The present participle “singing “describes the noun Pooja.
- Frustrated, the manager rushed out.
The past participle “frustrated “describes the noun manager.
Participle phrases contain a participle modified by an adverb or an adverbial phrase. They function as an adjective. A participle phrase can be placed before or after the word it describes.
- Swimming underwater. Bourne managed to escape the assassins.
The participle phrase “swimming underwater” describes the noun burne.
- Nisha unhindered by obstacles kept on working.
The participle phrase “unhindered by obstacles “describes the noun Nisha.
- Gerund phrases
A gerund is a form of a verb that ends in –ing and operates as a noun in a sentence. Gerunds can function as subjects, direct objects, indirect onbjects, objects of a preposition and appositives.
- Gerunds always end in –ing.
- Gerunds always act as nouns.
- Thinking can be painful.
The gerund “thinking” is acting as the subject – hence noun.
Like a participle, a gerund can be part of a phrase.
- The painful, slow walking took him no further.
The gerund phrase is “painful, slow walking”
- Fiza’s dream was winning the national Championship.
The gerund phrase is “winning the national Championship.”
- Infinitive Phrases
The infinitive phrase is a form of the verb that comes after the word to and acts as a noun, adjective or adverb. So they are quite similar to gerunds. An infinitive phrase contains modifiers that together act as a single part of speech.
- Guru’s dream to become a very successful businessman was about to come true.
The infinitive phrases “to become a very successful businessman “modifies the noun dream.
- To study efficiently and effectively should be the motto of anyone preparing for CLAT.
The infinitive phrase “to study efficiently and effectively “is acting as the subject.
A clause is a part of a sentence that has both the subject and the verb and it may or may not make sense.
May or may not make sense
So, basically every sentence is a clause but every clause is not a sentence.
There are two types of clauses, independent clauses (main clauses) and dependent clauses (Subordinate clauses and relative clauses)
An independent clause Is a complete sentence it has a subject and verb and express a complete thought.
A dependent (subordinate) clause is part of a sentence. So, it cannot stand alone.
An independent clause will follow this pattern
Subject + Verb = Complete thought
A dependent clause will follow this pattern
Subordinate conjunction + Subject + Verb = Incomplete thought
Dependent Clause Independent Clause When the fire broke out It wrecked havoc. In summer of ’69 when I was in school Man landed on the moon. For two years after I passed I didn’t get a job.
Dependent clauses add additional information to the main clauses, but they must be combined with an independent clause so that they become part of a sentence that can stand by itself. Although each of the dependent clauses shown on the previous chart has a subject and a Verb, it does not express a complete thought. As a result, it cannot stand by itself.
A dependent clause often starts with a word that makes the clause unable to stand alone. Look back at the three dependent clauses in the chart. The words used here are When, in and for respectively. These words are subordinating conjunctions.
Quick Tip- You can’t determine whether a clause is independent or dependent from its length. Either a type of clause can be very long or very short- or somewhere in between. Skilled writers often vary the length of their clauses to achieve rhythm, balance and meaning in their writing.
Subordinating conjunctions link an independent clause to a dependent clause. Each subordinating conjunction expresses a relationship between the dependent clause and the independent clause. For Example: Some conjunctions show time order, while others show result or effect.
The following chart lists the subordinating conjunctions used most often and the relationships they express:
Subordinating Conjunctions Relationship Unless, provided that, if, even if Condition Because, as, as if Reason Rather than, than, whether Choice Though, although, even though, but Contrast Where, Wherever Location In order that, so, so that, that Result, effect While, once, when, since, as whenever, Time After, before, until, as soon
Quick tip: When a dependent clause introduced by a subordinating conjunction comes before the independent clause, the clauses are usually separated by a comma. When you are in Rome. You should do as the Romans do. (Before) You should do as the Romans do when you are in Rome. (After)
There are three different kinds of subordinate clauses: adverb clause, adjective clauses and noun clauses.
- Adverb clause
An adverb clause is a dependent clause that describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb. As with adverbs, an adverb clause answers these questions:
Where? Why? When? To what extent? Under what condition ? In what manner?
- Wherever tornadoes occur, they leave destruction behind.
The adverb clause “wherever tornadoes occur” modifies the verb leave.
- The teacher wanted to scold Jamal because he had missed many lectures.
The adverb clause “because he had missed many lectures “modifies the verb scold.
- Adjective Clause
An adjective clause is a dependent clause that describes nouns and pronouns. As with adjectives, an adjective clause answers these questions.
What kind? Which one? How many? How much?
Most adjective clauses start with the pronouns who, whom, why, whose, which, that, when, where.
- My father, who is a scientist, helped me with maths.
The adjective clause “who is a scientist” describes the noun father.
- Students whom I admire want to become English Teachers.
The adjective clause “whom I admire” describe the noun students.
Adjective clauses that begin with one of the relative pronouns are called relative clauses. The relative pronouns are: who, whom, whose, which, that. Relative pronouns connect an adjective clause to the word the clause describes.
- The movie that we watched was quite bad.
The relative clause “That we watched” describes the noun movie.
- The person of whom you spoke is crying right now.
The relative clause “of whom you spoke” describes the noun person.
- Noun clauses
A noun clause is a dependent clause that functions as a noun.
- Tweety does whatever she is not supposed to.
The noun clause “whatever she is not supposed to”
- Do you know what he knows?
The noun clause “what he knows” acting as the object.
Run on Sentence and comma Splices
There are two basic types of sentence errors: fragments and run on sentences. These problems with sentence construction confuse your readers and obscure your meaning. Their use will also result in clumsy, unpolished writing and speech. Let’s look at each of these sentence errors in detail so that you will be able to fix them with ease.
As you have learned, there are two types of clauses: independent and dependent.
Independent clauses are complete sentences because they have a subject, a verb and express a complete thought.
- a) I go to the parties every Saturday night.
- b) Gandhi’s dream was to get freedom.
Dependent clauses cannot stand alone because they do not express a complete thought, even if they have a subject and a verb.
Since I enjoy the parties.
Because Gandhi’s dream was to get freedom.
A run-on sentence is two incorrectly joined independent clause.
A comma splice is a run on sentence with a comma where the two independent clauses run together. When your sentences run together, your ideas are garbled.
Run-on: I gave him everything he is still thankless.
Corrected: I gave him everything, but he is still thankless.
Run on: Indians are very proud of their tradition; they say it is the oldest.
Corrected: Indians are very proud of their tradition, and they say it is the oldest. OR
Indians are very proud of their tradition; they say it is the oldest.
Quick Tip: Run on sentences are not necessarily long. Some can be quite short, in fact Sheetal ran she fell down. Sheetal cried hari cried too.
Run-on sentences can be corrected in four ways:-
The British in the Raj were not liked by the people; they were quite cruel, sometimes
- Divide the run-on sentence into two sentences with the appropriation and punctuation, such as a period, exclamation mark, or a question mark.
The British in the Raj were not liked by the people. They were quite cruel, sometimes.
- Add a coordinating conjunction (and, nor, but, or, for, yet, so) to create a compound sentence.
The British in the Raj were not liked by the people for they were quite cruel, sometimes.
- Add a subordinating conjunction to create a complex sentence.
Since the British in the Raj were quite cruel sometimes, they were not liked by the people.
- Use a semicolon to create a compound sentence.
The British in the Raj were not liked by the people; they were quite cruel, sometimes.
Sentence Errors: Fragments
A sentence fragment is a group of words that is punctuated like a sentence (that is it, it begins with a capital letter and ends with end punctuation) but lacks one or more of the elements of a sentence. Most times, a fragment is missing a subject, a verb or both. Other times, a fragment may have a subject and a verb but still not express a complete thought.
There are three main ways that fragments occur.
- When a dependent clause masks as a sentence.
Because humans have a tendency to do random things.
Since they do not have anything to do at times.
- When a phrase is cut off from the sentence it describes.
Used to do a lot of cleaning on weekends.
Trying to prevent oneself from going mad.
- You can also create a fragment if you use the wrong form of a verb.
The frog gone to the pond by the reservoir.
Saffron being a very costly and pungent spice.
Quick tip: Don’t be misled by a capital letter at the beginning of a word group. Starting a group of words with a capital letter doesn’t make the word group a sentence. It just makes it a fragment that starts with a capital letter.
You can correct a fragment in three ways:
- Add the missing part to the sentence.
- Fragment: Because humans have a tendency to do random things.
Complete: Because humans have a tendency to do random things, they sometimes get into a mess.
- Fragment: Since they do not have anything to do at times.
Complete: Since they do not have anything to do at times, humans end up doing random things.
- Correct the misused verb
- Fragment: The frog gone to the pond by the reservoir.
Complete: The frog went to the pond by the reservoir.
- Fragment: Saffron being a very costly and pungent spice.
Complete: Saffron is a very costly and pungent spice.
- Omit the subordinating conjunction or connect it to another sentence.
- Fragment: Because humans have a tendency to do random things.
Complete: Humans have a tendency to do random things.
- Fragment: Since they do not have anything to do at times.
Complete: They do not have anything to do at times.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.