Sentence, phrase, clause

A SENTENCE is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate, and expresses a complete thought.

In writing,

it begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, a question mark, or an exclamation mark.

Example: Mary had a little lamb.

A phrase is a group of two or more words that acts as a single unit in the syntax of a sentence. It does not contain a subject and predicate, and does not express a complete thought.

Examples:

on the surface

 of great interest

a slice of bread.

 

A clause consists of a subject and a predicate.

Example:

He has a swimming pool which is as big as a lagoon

– where “which” (referring to the noun immediately preceding it)

is the subject and

“is as big as a lagoon” is the predicate.

There are two kinds of clauses:

independent and dependent.

Independent clauses can be sentences by themselves.

A simple sentence is an independent clause: Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall.

Dependent (or subordinate) clauses cannot stand by themselves

– they occur in sentences with independent clauses.

For example,

“The baby monster couldn’t sleep because he thought there was a human under his bed”,

“because he thought there was a human under his bed” is the dependent clause and

“The baby monster couldn’t sleep” is the independent clause.

There are two kinds of clauses:

independent and dependent.

Independent clauses can be sentences by themselves.

A simple sentence is an independent clause: Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall.

Dependent (or subordinate) clauses cannot stand by themselves

– they occur in sentences with independent clauses.

For example,

“The baby monster couldn’t sleep because he thought there was a human under his bed”,

“because he thought there was a human under his bed” is the dependent clause and

“The baby monster couldn’t sleep” is the independent clause.

 

Can you tell if the Beatles song titles below are sentences, phrases or dependent clauses?

1. Across the Universe

2. I Feel Fine

3. She Loves You

4. In My Life

5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

6. I Want to Hold Your Hand

7. A Hard Day’s Night

8. Till There Was You

9. I Saw Her Standing There

10. All My Loving

11. When I Get Home

12. Lonesome Tears in My Eyes

13. I Call Your Name

14. When I’m Sixty-four

15. The Long and Winding Road

16. Do You Want to Know a Secret?

Answers:

1. phrase 2. sentence 3. sentence 4. phrase 5. clause 6. sentence 7. phrase 8. clause 9. sentence 10. phrase 11. clause 12. phrase 13. sentence 14. clause 15. phrase 16. sentence

 

 

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