Understanding Sentences, Clauses, and Phrases

Improving Grammar Skills for Better Communication

While some sentences are simple, others are more complex since they consist of not only central word-groups but also subordinate word groups.
Write My Paper service says, the central word group within any sentence is the main independent clause, which is like the foundation of a building and supports the framework of the entire structure. Of course, in the case of a sentence, the framework is not made of wood and steel, but dependent clauses and assorted phrases, all of which are necessary to complete the sentence’s intended meaning.

Definition and Examples of a Sentence

A sentence is a group of words containing a subject and a predicate (verb or verb phrase), and regardless of the type of sentence, these words all work together to express a complete thought, for example:

  • Tom left home. (“Home” is the direct object.)
  • Sue cried in frustration. (“In frustration” is an adverbial prepositional phrase that tells how Sue cried.)
  • Tom doubted that Sue would ever forgive him. (The dependent clause, “That Sue would ever forgive him,” is the direct object of “doubted.”)

On the other hand, sometimes the subject of a sentence might not be expressed but understood, although in such instances the subject is invariably “you,” for example:

  • Please sit down. (You please sit down)
  • Go away! (You go away)

It’s important to note that whereas most sentences contain not only subjects and predicates but also modifying words and phrases, technically, whenever a subject and verb (or verb phrase) work together to express a complete thought, they constitute a sentence, for example:

  • Tom fainted.
  • Tom had fainted.

Definition and Examples of a Clause

A clause is a group of related words that contains a subject (a least an understood subject) and a predicate; and all sentences are made up of clauses. In fact, a simple sentence consists of one stand-alone independent clause.

Some clauses are independent, meaning they express complete thoughts and, therefore, can stand alone as sentences (Tom fainted.). Other clauses, however, are dependent (or subordinate), meaning they cannot stand by themselves and depend upon independent clauses to provide them with full meaning. You may encounter this if you buy research papers.

Here are some examples of dependent clauses:

  • Because he and Sue had an argument over his lack of initiative.
  • As Tom carried his suitcases from the house.
  • That Sue would never forgive him.

Note that each clause contains a subject and a predicate: he and Sue had; Tom carried; Sue would forgive (“ever is an adverb); but neither clause expresses a complete thought. As a result, they must be attached to independent clauses:

  • Tom left home because he and Sue had an argument over his lack of initiative.
  • Sue cried in frustration as Tom carried his suitcases from the house.
  • Tom suspected that Sue would never forgive him.

Note: One type of sentence “fragment” is that created when writers allow dependent clauses to stand along.

Definitions of the Eight Types of Sentence Phrases

A phase is a group of related words that adds meaning to a sentence, but unlike clauses, phrases do not contain a subject and a predicate. If you buy term paper, don't need to know that. But If you writing by yourself, read below.

There are eight different kinds of phrases:

  1. Noun (or nominal)—several words working together to name or identify a person, place, or thing.
  2. Verb—several verbs working together to indicate action or being, either present, past, or future, etc.
  3. Prepositional—a preposition, its object, and any modifiers.
  4. Gerund—the “ing’ form of a verb, with any modifiers, filling a noun slot within a sentence: subject, subject complement, direct object, indirect object, or object of a preposition.
  5. Infinitive—“to” plus a verb used chiefly as a noun, although infinitives may occasionally act as adjectives or adverbs.
  6. Participial—a verb form that functions as part of verb phrase or in an adjectival role.
  7. Appositive—a group of words that identifies, explains, or supplements the meaning of a noun.
  8. Absolute—a group of words, consisting of a noun or noun equivalent usually followed by a participial phrase, that modifies an entire clause or sentence.

Examples of the Eight Types of Sentence Phrases

Below are examples of each of the eight types of phrases being used in a sentence (the phrases are in italics):

  1. Tom and Sue’s amused next-door neighbor watched. (Noun)
  2. Since early morning Tom and Sue had been squabbling. (Verb)
  3. Sue threw Tom’s golf clubs through the window and onto the lawn. (Prepositional)
  4. Sue decided that justifying Tom’s lack of initiative was emotionally draining. (Gerund)
  5. Tom decided he had cut off his nose to spite his face. (Infinitive)
  6. Tome, being quite clumsy, tripped and fell off the porch. (Participial)
  7. Sue’s mother, owner of a rattlesnake ranch in Arizona, told Sue to change the locks on the door. (Appositive)
  8. His fiction-writing skill at last perfected to his satisfaction, Tom knew his next novel would be a bestseller. (Absolute)

In summary, although people use sentences, clauses, and phrases on a daily basis, both in writing and speaking, if asked to define these three common grammatical terms, most people would probably be at a loss. However, if someone wishes to demonstrate a thorough comprehension of the English language, he or she should at least know the difference.

Read On:
Grammar Rules for Punctuation Marks
Write Better by Cutting Redundant Words
Rules for Hyphen Usage