Menu Close

Phrases and Clauses

A phrase:  is a group of words acting as a single part of speech and not containing both a subject and a verb.

Different types of Phrases

Prepositional phrase – begins with a preposition and ends with the noun [aka object of the preposition]; acts as either an adjective or as an adverb.

Adverb:   She is weeding in the garden.            Adjective:  The book with the red cover is really good!

Verbal Phrase – begins with verbal and ends with the noun; acts as an adjective or a noun

Participial Phrase – begins with the participle and acts as an adjective; can be in past or in present tense. The participial phrase should be near the object it is describing [or modifying].

The children, laughing loudly, played hide and seek until nightfall.

Infinitive Phrase – starts with an infinitive and contains nouns and modifiers; can function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

The best way to survive Dr. Peterson’s boring history lectures is a sharp pencil to stab in your thigh if you catch

yourself drifting off.

Gerund Phrase – begins with a gerund and might contain objects and modifers; functions as a noun.

Jamming too much clothing into a washing machine will result in disaster.


Phrase Practice

Prepositional and Verbal Phrase Worksheet

Prepositional Phrase Activity

phrase journals

phrase notes



Independent Clause -contains a verb and its subject; can stand alone as a sentence

Ex.  David Wagoner is a poet and a teacher.


Subordinate [aka dependent] Clause – contains a verb and its subject, BUT does not express a complete thought and cannot stand alone. – starts with a subordinate conjunction.                       Ex. Who lives in Ohio.

Subordinate Clauses act as either adjective clauses, adverbial clauses, or noun clauses.

Adjective Clause – Subordinate clause that describes a noun or pronoun – answers which one, what kind, how much, or how                              many.    Ex.  A family is more than a group of people who are related.

Adverb Clause – Adverb clause – Subordinate clause that describes a verb, adjective, or adverb.

Ex.  Most children leave home when the time is right.

Noun Clause –  Subordinate clause that is used as a noun.  Can function the same as a one-word noun.

Ex.  That my brother influences me is obvious.



Clause Worksheet

Clause Poetry Activity

Dependent Clause Worksheet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *