Category: Clause

Many people are confused about the difference between phrases and clauses. Are these different grammar items or are they just two names for the same thing? That’s what we’re going to talk about in this video. Now before we start just remember: if you have any questions at all you just have to ask me in the comments section below and I will talk to you there. So in this lesson we’re going to learn the difference between phrases and clauses. But first let’s talk about how phrases and clauses are similar. They’re similar in this way: both of these refer two groups of words that are meaningful. Look at these examples: near my home or Dexter won the bicycle race You can see that these are meaningful so one of them is afraid and the other is a clause OK so what’s the difference between them? Well the difference is this: a clause is a group of words with a subject-verb combination so Dexter won the bicycle race is a clause because it has a subject – Dexter and a verb – won is the past tense of win so this is a clause. A phrase is a group of words without a subject-verb combination. So near my home is a phrase because there’s no subject verb combination It’s very simple but keep this important difference in mind – a clause has a subject-verb combination and a phrase does not. So now let me show you some more examples so that you can learn how to easily identify phrases and clauses Alright all the words that you see on the screen are phrases. You’ll notice that in all of these there’s no subject verb combination and these examples also show the most common types of phrases For example my two wonderful dogs is a phrase focusing on the noun dogs and the phrase the tallest building in the world focuses on the noun building so we say that these are noun phrases. What about couldn’t go and will be working? Can you guess what type of phrases these are? These are verb phrases because they only have verbs in them. All of these words are verbs similarly we have the adjective phrases very friendly and afraid of the dark we say that these are adjective phrases because the focus is on friendly and afraid – the other words in these phrases are only helping the main words and the main words are adjectives. Really fast and much quicker are adverb phrases because the adverbs fast and quicker are the focus of these phrases and finally what about near the post office and on the 29th? Do you know? These are preposition phrases because each of these tells us about a place or about time using the prepositions near and on. These are the most common types of phrases that you will come across and once again remember these are phrases because they don’t have a subject verb combination. So let’s now look at some examples of clauses like I said a clause is just like a phrase – it’s a group of words but a clause has a subject verb combination now in English there are many different kinds of causes but the two most important that you need to know about are independent and dependent clauses let’s start with the independent clause this is simply a clause that can stand alone as a sentence. For example He ate dinner this is a clause because it has a subject – he – and a verb – ate – past tense of eat and it’s independent because it can be a sentence on its own. So what’s a dependent clause then? Well it’s a clause that is it has a subject-verb combination but it cannot be a sentence by itself. For example When James got home is a dependent clause – it has a subject – James – and a verb – got – but if you think about it it’s not a complete sentence because if I said when James got home you will ask okay then what? What happened? So you see the sentence isn’t complete so this is a dependent clause.

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