Phrases – Definition, Types and Examples

In this article, you will gain comprehensive knowledge about the usage of phrases in English sentences. You will explore their meaning, definition, various types, and learn how to effectively incorporate them into your own writing. Additionally, the article provides examples and practice questions to assist you in the learning process.

Phrases in English Grammar
Phrases in English Grammar

What is phrase?

Phrase: वाक्यांश (Phrase) शब्दों का ऐसा समूह होता है जिसका कुछ अर्थ हो किन्तु जिससे पूर्ण भाव व्यक्त न हो। यह किसी वाक्य (Sentence) या उपवाक्य (Clause) का अंग होता है।

A group of words which makes sense but not complete sense is called a Phrase.

नोट– Phrase में Finite Verb नहीं होती है।

Definition of Phrase:

परिभाषा– Phrase वह शब्द समूह है जिसका भाव तो हो, किन्तु पूर्ण भाव न हो ।

P.C. Wren के अनुसार Phrase की परिभाषा, “Phrase is a group of words which makes sense but not complete sense.”

F.T. Rowe तथा W.T. Webb के अनुसार, “A combination of words, used to represent a part of speech, and not containing a Finite verb, is called a Phrase.”

Examples of phrases:

  • in the earth,
  • on a wall,
  • to my door,
  • of great beauty,
  • in the corner,
  • through thick
  • and thin,
  • a bird in the hand,
  • how to do.

नोट– Phrase में Predicate नहीं होता है।

निम्नलिखित उदाहरणों को ध्यानपूर्वक पढ़िए-

  1. The sun rises in the east.
  2. The monkey sat on a wall.
  3. An old beggar came to my door.
  4. I don’t know how to swim.
  5. She has a chain of gold.

उपर्युक्त वाक्यों में गहरे रंग के शब्द Phrases हैं।

Types of Phrases

Phrases मुख्य रूप से निम्न तीन प्रकार की होती हैं-

  1. Noun Phrase,
  2. Adjective Phrase,
  3. Adverb Phrase,

इनके अतिरिक्त भी कई अन्य प्रकार के वाक्यांश (Phrases) होते हैं, जैसे- Verb Phrase, Prepositional Phrase, Gerund Phrase, Appositive Phrase, Participle Phrase और Infinitive Phrase.

Noun Phrase

Noun Phrase शब्दों का ऐसा समूह होता है जिसमें Noun या Pronoun होता है। इसका उपयोग Noun को modify करने के लिए किया जाता है। (A noun phrase can function as a subject, an object or a complement in a sentence.)

For example:

  • My brother’s friend who had come to visit him is quite friendly. (Act as a Subject)
  • Scented candles hold the top spot as my favorite. (Act as a Subject)
  • The students were asked to uncover the buried treasure. (Act as a Object)

Adjective Phrase

Adjective Phrase शब्दों का एक समूह है जिसमें Adjective होता है। यह वाक्य में संज्ञा या सर्वनाम के बारे में जानकारी प्रदान करता है। दूसरे शब्दों में यह कहा जा सकता है कि Adjective Phrase वाक्य में विशेषण की तरह ही कार्य करता है। (Adjective phrases function to modify or describe nouns by adding more details, characteristics, or qualities to them.)

  • The house with the red roof is a charming sight in the neighborhood. (In this phrase, “with the red roof” is an adjective phrase that describes the noun “house.” It provides additional information about the house, specifying that it has a red roof.)
  • The girl wearing a blue dress stood out among the crowd. (Here, “wearing a blue dress” is an adjective phrase that modifies the noun “girl.” It describes the girl by mentioning her action of wearing a blue dress.)
  • The book written by a famous author became an instant bestseller. (In this example, “written by a famous author” is an adjective phrase that provides information about the noun “book.” It describes the book by mentioning its author, who is famous.)

Adverb Phrase

क्रिया-विशेषण वाक्यांश शब्दों का एक समूह है जिसमें Adverb और अन्य modifiers शामिल होते हैं। यह क्रिया-विशेषण के सभी कार्य करता है। इसे वाक्य के किसी भी भाग में रखा जा सकता है। (Adverb phrases modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs by providing information about how, when, where, or to what extent an action occurs.)

  • She walked with great confidence. (In this sentence, the adverb phrase “with great confidence” modifies the verb “walked.” It describes how she walked, indicating that she walked in a confident manner.)
  • They completed the project ahead of schedule. (Here, the adverb phrase “ahead of schedule” modifies the verb “completed.” It describes when they completed the project, indicating that they finished it earlier than expected.)
  • The dog barked loudly in the middle of the night. (In this example, the adverb phrase “in the middle of the night” modifies the verb “barked.” It describes when the dog barked, indicating that it happened during the nighttime.)
  • Later this evening, my cousins and I have planned to go to the park. (In this sentence, “Later this evening” is an adverb phrase that provides information about when the action will take place. It modifies the verb phrase “have planned”.)

Verb phrase

A verb phrase is a group of words that includes a main verb and any auxiliary (helping) verbs or modifiers. It functions as the predicate of a sentence and expresses an action, occurrence, or state. Verb phrases can be simple, consisting of just the main verb, or complex, including auxiliary verbs and additional words.

  • She is studying for her exams. (The verb phrase in this sentence is “is studying.” It consists of the auxiliary verb “is” and the main verb “studying.” Together, they express the ongoing action of studying.)
  • They have been working on the project all night.
  • He will attend the conference next week.
  • Students are practising hard in order to participate in the state tournament.

Prepositional phrase

Prepositional phrases provide additional information about location, time, direction, manner, or other relationships within a sentence. They typically consist of a preposition followed by a noun phrase or pronoun.

  • The book is on the table. (In this sentence, the prepositional phrase is “on the table.” It begins with the preposition “on” and describes the location of the book.)
  • He walked through the park. (Here, the prepositional phrase is “through the park.” It starts with the preposition “through” and indicates the path or route taken by the subject while walking.)
  • She sat beside her friend at the concert. (In this example, the prepositional phrase is “beside her friend.” It begins with the preposition “beside” and shows the position of the subject in relation to her friend during the concert.)
  • I heard of his success.

Use of Phrases: Rules and points to remember

When using phrases in sentences, there are several rules and points to remember. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Use phrases to provide additional information or to modify nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs within a sentence.
  2. Ensure that phrases are properly integrated into the sentence structure, maintaining clarity and coherence.
  3. Pay attention to the type of phrase being used (e.g., prepositional phrase, noun phrase, adjective phrase) and its intended function within the sentence.
  4. Use commas to set off nonessential phrases. These phrases provide extra information but can be removed without changing the essential meaning of the sentence. Example: “John, wearing a hat, greeted us at the door.”
  5. Avoid misplaced or dangling phrases by placing them close to the word or phrase they modify. This helps to maintain clear and logical sentence structure.
  6. Vary your use of phrases to add richness and variety to your writing. Experiment with different types of phrases and their placement within sentences.
  7. Ensure that phrases are grammatically correct, properly punctuated, and effectively contribute to the overall meaning and flow of the sentence.

Frequently Asked Questions on Phrases in English Grammar

  1. What is a phrase?
    A phrase is a group of words that function together to convey a specific meaning. It does not have a subject and verb combination that can stand alone as a complete sentence.
  2. What is the difference between a phrase and a clause?
    A phrase is a group of words without a subject and verb combination, while a clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and can function as a standalone sentence.
  3. What are the different types of phrases?
    There are several types of phrases, including prepositional phrases, noun phrases, verb phrases, adjective phrases, adverb phrases, and more. Each type has its own unique function and structure.
  4. How are phrases used in sentences?
    Phrases are used in sentences to provide additional information, modify nouns or pronouns, describe actions or qualities, and convey specific meanings. They add depth, clarity, and detail to the overall sentence structure.
  5. Can phrases be moved around in a sentence?
    Yes, phrases can be moved within a sentence as long as they maintain their relationship with the words they modify or provide additional information to. However, it is important to ensure that the sentence remains grammatically correct and coherent.
  6. Can phrases be used independently as sentences?
    No, phrases cannot be used independently as sentences because they do not contain a subject and a verb combination that forms a complete thought.
  7. How can I identify phrases in a sentence?
    To identify phrases, look for groups of words that function together and serve a specific purpose within the sentence. Pay attention to the words they modify or provide information about, and consider their structural patterns and types.

Remember that practicing sentence analysis and studying different types of phrases will help you become more proficient in identifying and using them effectively in your writing.

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