Clauses and Phrases
Clauses and Phrases: How Are They Different?
Clauses have a noun/pronoun (subject) and a verb (predicate) that shows the subject completing an action. They can be dependent or independent.
An independent clause forms a complete thought that can stand alone as (a sentence). Examples of independent clauses are as follows:
Example 1: Kelly planted a garden in our backyard.
"Kelly" is the noun/subject. "Planted" is the verb/predicate that describes the action Kelly took.
Example 2: He went to bed.
"He" is the subject, and "went" is the predicate that describes what he did.
A dependent clause does not form a complete thought, so it cannot stand alone. Examples include the following:
Example 3: Because Kelly planted a garden in the backyard
Example 4: Before he went to bed
Although these clauses have subjects (nouns) and predicates (verbs), they do not form complete thoughts. They can be completed by connecting them to a main clause in the following manner:
Example 5: Because Kelly planted a garden in our backyard, Rich and Jane will host the family barbecue this year.
Example 6: Before he went to bed, Alex turned off the lights and made sure the doors were locked.
A phrase may contain a noun or a verb, but it does not have a subject that performs an action (predicate).
Consider Examples 1 and 2:
Kelly planted a garden in our backyard.
He went to bed.
"In our back yard" and "to bed" are prepositional phrases.
The sentences listed below also contain phrases:
We are going to the mall tomorrow.
She left her handbag in the ladies room.
After running several miles, she finally collapsed.
Before entering my house, please remove your shoes.
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