Types of Phrases

Participial Phrase

1. What is a Participial Phrase? A participial phrase is a phrase that looks like a verb, but actually functions as an adjective; it modifies a noun in the same sentence. Phrases like this can “spice up” a noun and provide added description about what it’s doing or what it looks like. They’re often used in pieces that need to tell readers a lot in a few words, like newspaper articles or even ficti... »

Prepositional Phrase

1. What is a Prepositional Phrase? A preposition is a word that connects two phrases or ideas in a sentence. Prepositions are used to specify when, where, how, and why. A simple prepositional phrase includes a preposition and its object, which can be a single word or a group of words expressing a single idea. The purpose of using a prepositional phrase is to provide additional information about a ... »

Infinitive Phrase

1. What is an Infinitive Phrase? An infinitive phrase is a group of words that uses an infinitive (“to” + verb). An infinitive is a verbal (a word that expresses action); so, an infinitive phrase has the same role of expressing action in a sentence. An infinitive phrase is just a part of a sentence, working like a noun, adjective, or adverb.   2. Examples Here are some examples off infinitive... »

Appositive Phrase

1. What is an Appositive Phrase? An appositive is a noun or noun phrase (appositive phrase) that gives another name to the noun right next to it. It adds descriptive words about a specific thing (the noun), which helps make a sentence more detailed; or, it adds essential information to make the sentence’s meaning clear.   2. Examples of an Appositive Phrase An appositive noun or phrase can co... »

Noun Phrase

1. What is a Noun Phrase? A noun phrase is a group of words that work together to name and describe a person, place, thing, or idea. When we look at the structure of writing, we treat a noun phrase the same way we treat a common noun.  Like all nouns, a noun phrase can be a subject, object, or complement.   2. Examples of Noun Phrases Example 1 The quick, brown fox jumped over the lazy dog Th... »

Gerund Phrase

1. What is a Gerund Phrase? A gerund phrase is a phrase that begins with a gerund, and functions as a noun. Let’s break down this definition to understand it better. A gerund is a verb ending with –ing, but, it works as a noun and can act as a subject, object, or complement in a sentence. Meanwhile, a phrase is a group of words that contains either a subject (noun) or a verb — but not both. ... »

Absolute Phrase

  1. What is an Absolute Phrase? An absolute phrase is a phrase that modifies a whole independent clause (a full sentence); not just one word. It generally combines a noun and a participle, so it can be as short as two words, or sometimes have other modifiers and objects, too. Absolute phrases are not full sentences on their own, but they can add very important details to sentences that make ... »


1. What is a Phrase? A phrase is a group of two or more words that work together but don’t form a clause. In truth, “phrase” is a very broad term that we often use as a name for sayings, quotes, or other parts of every day speech, but this article will discuss phrases as they work in grammar. It’s important to know the difference between a phrase and a clause. As you might know, a clause must incl... »