English Grammar Intro to Phrase and Clause Introduction


We all use sentences in our day to day life to make others understand what we think, want or feel. A sentence is a group of words which makes a complete sense.

For example,

  • I am feeling very thirsty.

  • I am going to visit my Aunt.


  • I am going to lit the lamps.


  • There are three brilliant students in this class.

  • Children are sitting under the tree.


A Phrase is a group of words that makes sense but not complete sense. A Phrase does not have a Subject and a Verb.

For example, on the table, under the tree, behind the bars, etc.

  • Maina is sitting under the tree.


Here “under the tree” is a phrase that does not make a complete sense alone. It has a meaning but these three words alone cannot give the complete meaning. There is no clue of who is there and what is the subject doing under the tree. So it is called a Phrase. It does not have a subject (Maina) or a Verb (sitting).

Clause is a group of words or a part of sentence having a subject and a predicate (Verb+ supporting words).

It is a group of words but not necessarily a complete meaningful sentence. However, sometimes a clause can give the complete meaning alone.

For example,

  • She giggled.

In this example, the two words she (subject) and giggled (Verb) gives the complete meaning that the girl laughed softly and repetitively in a silly manner. This is an example, of independent clause because the clause itself makes the complete sense.

  • While she was singing, the audience sang along to encourage her.

In this example, the part of the sentence-“While she was singing” has a subject and a predicate. So it’s a clause but it does not make the complete sense. The sentence does not tell us what happened while she was singing. This is an example of dependent clause because it depends on rest of the part of a sentence to give out a clear meaning.

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