Phrases and Clauses
A clause is a group of words containing a subject and verb.
An independent clause is a simple sentence. It can stand on its own.
She is hungry.
I am feeling well today.
A dependent clause cannot stand on its own. It needs an independent clause to complete a sentence. Dependent clauses often begin with such words as although, since, if, when, and because.
Although she is hungry …
Whoever is hungry …
Because I am feeling well …
Although she is hungry,
she will give him some of her food.
Whatever they decide,
I will agree to.
A phrase is a group of words without a subject-verb component, used as a single part of speech.
Best friend (this phrase acts as a noun)
Needing help (this phrase acts as an adjective; see Adjectives and Adverbs)
With the blue shirt (this prepositional phrase acts as an adjective; see Prepositions)
For twenty days (this prepositional phrase acts as an adverb)
If you are unsure whether a group of words is a clause or phrase, break down the words into the parts of speech to help you decide. If there is a subject and a verb with a predicate, it is a clause. If there is a noun but no verb or a verb but no noun and does not have a predicate, it is a phrase.
Indicate if the underlined groups of words in the sentences given below are phrases or clauses:
The player who hits the winning run will be the MVP for the game. ___________
Whenever I don’t have any homework, I like to go for a bike ride after school. ___________
The girl whose leg was broken last year will be running in the big race tomorrow. ___________
Did you look for your shoes under the bed. ___________
Chelsea was waiting in front of the movie theater. ___________
Opening the gate, Raj let his dog into the yard. _
In the cupboard, you should find the brushes you need. Chelsea was waiting in front of the movie theater. ___________
If the story doesn't have any vampires in it, Katie won't read it. ___________
It is too bad that Ms. Sharma will not be teaching us next year. ___________
After listening to the students, Mr. Johnson changed his mind about the assignment. ___________
They all started walking towards the mall. ___________
There could be a problem if our wicketkeeper is late for the game. ___________
Vicky’s dog went missing on the stormy night. ___________
This job would be fun if the timings were better. ___________
When Barry was transferred to Kansas City, his company helped his wife to find a job there. ____________
The man gave the exam another shot after he failed to pass it the first time. ____________
After knocking over the vase, the burglar decided it was time to run. ____________
The setting sun looked amazing. ___________
Indicate if the underlined groups of words in the sentences given below are phrases or clauses. Then rewrite the sentences changing the phrases into clauses, or vice versa.
The girl, who is waiting at the bus stop is my neighbour. _______________
His farm house is located at the end of the road. _________________
I haven’t seen any movie made by this director. ____________________
When the sun sets, the birds return to their nests. _____________________
White water rafting, which is a dangerous sport, is catching up with the tourists. ____________________
Do you know, whom to ask for assistance? _____________________
The bird perched on the branch, is a parrot. ________________