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Uses of Phrases in English Grammar

A phrase is a group of words that are meaningful but are not a sentence.

The proper pronunciation for the phrase is “FRAZE”. It derived the word phrase from Greek, which means to “explain or tell”. A phrase is made up of a headword; a headword determines the grammatical nature of the unit. The phrase also comprises one or over one optional modifier.

We use phrases in our daily reading, writing, and speaking. But to know their actual mechanism is quite difficult. In written form, phrases give a good structure to your writing, but not all phrases are good. Some phrases make your paragraph look pointless.

The smart use of phrases can bring up your paragraph, but too much use of it can make it look incoherent and illogical. Let us share some basic knowledge about phrases.

There are different phrases mentioned below with their examples.

Some phrases we use are noun phrases that provide details about a noun. For Example, the tall tree looks green. Whereas sometimes we use verb phrases that comprise a verb and a linking modifier. For example, Bruce has been playing for an hour already.

There are prepositional phrases that include a preposition and its object. For example, the fox jumped over the fence. An adverbial phrase takes the role of an adverb in a sentence. For example, he cooks meals once a month.

An adjective phrase describes an additional meaning for an adjective. For example, that husky is healthier than the rest of them. Gerund phrase includes a gerund (a gerund is a noun created by adding “ing” to a verb. For example, the essay writing competition announced its winner this weekend.

Some other phrases used are infinitive, participle, and appositive.

So ‌ phrases can be fun to learn and tricky as well. It turned a verb into a noun, verbs playing the role of adjectives, and much more. You can also search for adjectives beginning with C to make learning phrases fun.

How to identify a phrase in a sentence?

As discussed earlier, phrases are a group of words that act as a part of speech but cannot stand alone as a sentence.

The quickest way to differentiate whether a group of words is a phrase, or a clause is to find out for both a subject and a verb. If you can notice both, then it’s a clause. If you can only find one or the other than its surface.

Phrase VS Sentence:

Let us differentiate between a phrase and a sentence

Phrases can be is a group of words which do not express a complete thought, whereas a sentence is a group that expresses a complete thought. Phrases don’t have a subject or predicate or both, whereas a sentence has a subject and a predicate.

A phrase does not give a piece of complete information about the subject whereas there is a piece of complete information given in a sentence. Also a phrase does not begin with the capital letter and end with any punctuation mark whereas a sentence which ends with a full stop and starts with the capital letter and it can include, question mark or exclamation mark.

Example of phrases used daily:

  Phrases for the invitation:

  • Let me check my calendar
  • Would you like to join me for dinner?
  • Would you like to have a lunch date with me tomorrow?
  • How about coming to a picnic at the football club?

Phrases for asking for directions

  • I am looking for…
  • Is it far?
  • How do I find…..?
  • How do I get to the library?
  • Could you direct me to….?

Phrases for saying no

  • I am already booked.
  • That is not going to work for me
  • Sounds fun. But I’m not available.
  • Maybe another time.
  • Nope
  • It is not a good idea for me
  • I want to, but I’m unable to.

Phrases for asking for information

  • Do you happen to know?
  • I am interested in…
  • I was wondering…
  • I am looking for…
  • Do you know..?
  • I do not suppose you know…
  • Would you mind…?

Useful phrases in shopping

  • Do you know where else I could try?
  • Do you have this item in stock?
  • Do you offer a cash discount?
  • Do you have any strawberries?
  • Do you have any refund policy?
  • How much is this?
  • Do you have a bigger size?
  • Do you sell organic vegetables?
  • Could you help me, please?
  • These are some uses of phrases that you can use while travelling to a new country if English is your second language.

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