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GENERAL EDUCATION

Phrases and Clauses

Phrases are groups of related words that do not contain a subject-verb combination or express a complete thought. Clauses are groups of related words that contain a subject-verb combination.

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The various parts of speech are grouped into phrases and clauses, which make up the basic sentence.

Phrases

Phrases are groups of related words that do not contain a subject-verb combination or express a complete thought. There are noun, prepositional, participial, verb, and infinitive phrases.

Noun:

my widescreen TV

the tired old man

Prepositional:

over the wall

around the block

Participial:

playing the fool

running the program

Verb:

will be given

is coming

Infinitive:

to think

to draw

Clauses

Clauses are groups of related words that contain a subject-verb combination. Independent clauses express a complete thought and can stand by themselves as sentences. Subordinate clauses serve as part of a sentence but do not express a complete thought and cannot stand by themselves. They are subordinate to independent clauses.

Independent Clauses

the floodplain was completely underwater

John got us jobs as stagehands

they took the off-road trail

Subordinate Clauses

by the time June arrived

because he works at the theater

when they came to the turn

Complete Sentences

By the time June arrived, the floodplain was completely underwater.

John got us jobs as stagehands, because he works at the theater.

When they came to the turn, they took the off-road trail.

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