(1) ‘The scarf has disappeared’
(2) ‘Somebody must have taken my scarf’
The formal unit ‘the scarf’ has different functions:
A grammatical unit which may consist of one or more than one
word and which is one of the classes of constituents into which simple
sentences can be divided
My brother is normally an approachable person,
but he seemed rather rude that day
1. Noun phrases
A phrase which (typically) has a noun or a pronoun
as its head. It can have various important functions
in a clause or sentence.
(determiner[s]) + (modifier[s]) + noun/pronoun + (modifier[s])
2. Verb phrases
A phrase consisting of one or more verb words. It is
the essential element of a clause.
The verb phrase can also be interpreted as being a
constructions, but also the elements of a clause
which follow the main verb such as its object. (Verb
phrase in this sense is equivalent to predicate).
More on verbs in another issue
3. Adverb phrases
A phrase which contains and adverb as the main
element or head. An adverb phrase may consist of
just an adverb alone (1), two or more words (2), or
a longer sequence of words (3)
(1) She struck the boy hard
(2) Peter did hit the ball extremely hard
(3) They thought the climbing was not as easily as they all had
expected it to be
4. Adjective phrases
A phrase which contains and adjective as the head
or main word. Adjective phrases can be made more
complex by adding modifiers –especially degree
adverbs- before the adjective.
That building is tall
The class was far too noisy
As he woke up he realised that it was still too early for breakfast
African countries are too poor to feed themselves without help
5. Prepositional phrases
A phrase consisting of a preposition followed by a
noun phrase (or a nominal clause). Two important
functions are usually recognised to prep. phrases:
1) Acting as post-modifiers in a noun phrase
2) Acting as adverbials.
That is the tallest building of the castle compound
Flights from Gatwick will depart at noon today.
You’d better hurry up as your train is leaving from platform 2
• What do we understand by
‘sentences’ in English grammar?
Jesús Lorenzo Vieites