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A phrase is a group of words that acts as a part
of speech rather than as a complete sentence.
It does not have subject and a verb.
• By far the most common kind of phrase is the
• This phrase has two functions.
• Because she was in hurry, kate walked quickly
with a towel to the beach.
again the prepositional phrases are in hurry,
with a towel and to a beach.
let’s look at what these phrases are doing in the sentence.
In a hurry describes kate (noun)
(it is an adjective phrase)
with a towel also describes kate; it; too is an adjective phrase.
To the beach tells where kate walked, so it’s an adverb phrase.
All of these phrase are still prepositional phrases. They act
either as adjectives or adverbs.
• Stop at the count of ten
the prepositional phrase function as a
modifier of the verb stop, so it’s an adverb
• The speaker was a woman of extraordinary
The phrase of extraordinary eloquence modifies
the noun woman, so it is an adjective phrase.
• Another kind of phrase is the verbal phraseinfinitives, gerunds and participles. As you can
tell from the name, they are related to verbs.
They look verby, but never acts as a verbs,
instead, they act as nouns, adjectives and
• A participial phrase contains a participle, its
object, modifiers or both. Participles, likes,
verbs, can take an object.
Running quickly, the boy stumbled and broke
• Watching her favorite program, the child was
oblivious of the time.
its object: her favorite program.
• The function of a participial phrase is to
modify noun- in other words, a participial
phrase acts as an adjective.
Screaming with laughter, the children hid
under their desks.
The red towel, lost in the dryer, was her favorite.
Lying on her sofa bed, dannah ordered
• See how each participial phrase tell us
something about a noun.
Screaming with laughter describes the
children, lost in the dryer describes the towel,
and lying on the her sofa bed describes dannah.
• A gerund phrase is a gerund with modifiers or
a complement. All acting as a noun. Since it
acts as a noun, it performs many functions.
1. Subject: using profane language is not
permitted in a conservative institution.
2. Direct object: the secretary received a
scolding from her boss
3. Object of the preposition: he caused the
confusion by changing the lanes.
When the preposition to is followed by the
noun, it is infinitive phrase.
Infinitives used as Nouns:
OBJECT OF A PREPOSITION