Phrase and clause, complete course with activities

PHRASE    –  A phrase is a group of related words. It does not contain a subject and a verb. There are different types of phrases.

Examples:      1.   from the stairs

  1. to run
  2. playing the piano

CLAUSE    –  A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb. There are two types of clauses.

Examples:      1.   The play was funny.

2. Since the play was funny.

  1. Read and complete all exercises in this packet.
  1. Take test for Packet 4.

PHRASES   –  a phrase is a group of related words. It does not contain a subject and a verb. There are different types of phrases.

  1. Prepositional Phrase – (prep + noun/pron)

Examples:     1.   Most Australians live in large cities.

  1. Many cities with large factories have a smog problem.
  2. The great dividing range extends across the east side.
  3. Mr. Jones presented the award to me.
  4. Alice sat near her.
  1. Infinitive Phrase – ( to + verb)

Examples:      1.  To run daily is healthy.

  1. They pretend to speak Latin.
  2. Her idea to deliver the package was approved by her mother.
  1. Other Phrases – (beginning with an ing, ed, or en word.)

Although these words are formed from verbs, they are not verbs when used without helping words.

Examples       1.   Hating homework, Bob put off doing it until late at night.

  1. The girl running quickly tripped and fell.
  2. Dusting the furniture and washing the floors are tiresome chores.
  3. Destroyed by fire, the church was never rebuilt.
  4. Eaten quickly, the candies were gone before I arrived.

Packet 4.doc 4/09;  Disk YY (51); g:ASC Eng Read

CLAUSES   –  a clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb. There are     two types of clauses:

  1. Independent Clause – expresses a complete thought and has a subject and verb. It is the main thought of a sentence and can be used alone as a simple sentence.

Examples:      1.  Mrs. Smith bakes wonderful pies.

  1. During the rainstorm, the children were frightened by the thunder.
  2. She enjoys playing the piano.

2. Dependent Clause – has a subject and verb but cannot be used as a simple sentence. A dependent clause is introduced by a dependent word (subordinating conjunction). See the following list.



even though 


so that  





ever since 












        as if         









in order that 












        even if     


so (that) 





Whenever a clause begins with one of the above dependent words (unless it is a question, which would never give you any trouble), it is dependent. If we take an independent clause such as:

We finished the game.

and put one of the dependent words in front of it, it becomes dependent:

After we finished the game

Although we finished the game

As we finished the game

Before we finished the game

If we finished the game

Since we finished the game

That we finished the game

When we finished the game

While we finished the game

The clause can no longer stand alone. As you read it, you can hear that it doesn’t make a complete statement. It leaves the reader expecting something more. It is an incomplete thought or fragment and must not be punctuated as a sentence.

To correct such an incomplete thought or fragment, simply add an independent clause:

After we finished the game, we went to the clubhouse.

While we finished the game, the others waited.

We gave up the court when we had finished the game.          We were happy that we had finished the game.

In other words, every sentence must have at least one independent clause.

Note in the example above that when a dependent clause comes at the beginning of a sentence, it is followed by a comma. Often the comma prevents misreading, as in the following:

When he entered, the room became quiet.

Note that sometimes the dependent word is the subject of the dependent clause:

Examples:      1.  I took the highway that was finished just last month.

2.  The girl who was standing by the window is gone.

Sometimes the dependent clause is in the middle of the independent clause:

Examples:      1.  The highway that was finished last month goes to Indianapolis.

2.  The book which is on the shelf is excellent.

Note:  the word that does not always introduce a dependent clause; it may be a pronoun (That is my book) or a describing word (I like that book).


Phrases and Clauses

A. In the spaces to the left of each number write P for phrase, IC for independent clause, and DC for dependent clause.

Examples:        P        With their friends

 IC      It is the only solution

DC      Unless they could borrow the car

Exercise 1:

______ 1. Throwing papers along the streets

______ 2. While debris covered the park

______ 3. With broken glass in the alley

______ 4. Beside old trucks and cars

______ 5. No one lives there

______ 6. For lights on every corner

______ 7. If the expense is too great

______ 8. As he walked home

______ 9. Dragged up the subway steps ______18. No one cared about the party

______19. After the storm ended

______ 20. After the storm on Friday

______ 21. While baking the bread

______ 22. Leaving me behind

______ 23. Which was stolen

______ 24. A few were left

______ 25. Given a new lease on life

______ 26. As a loving gesture

______10. Thousands of people walk every day ______ 27. That she was going

______11. Racing against the traffic signal ______ 28. Since finding her keys and book

______12. Unless it rains ______ 29. Scolded by his mother

______13. When a helicopter hovers overhead ______ 30. Raise the flag

______14. Who play basketball in the empty lot _
_____ 31. Giving him a lift

______15. That lives in town ______ 32. If they can

______16. To think intelligently ______ 33. Run

______17. Except Mary and Tom ______ 34. Which sank

______ 35. Forgetting to do his assignment ______ 38. Please leave now

______ 36. Without a doubt ______ 39. Driven to drink

______ 37. Even though it seems unlikely ______ 40. Which was the wrong answer

Exercise 2:

______ 1.  Driving can be fun

______ 2.  Drive slowly

______ 3.  I suppose

______ 4.  To run quickly

______ 5.  Traveling at a fast pace

______ 6.  Which sank

______ 7.  Until tomorrow morning

______ 8.  While it poured

______ 9.  Buy bread at the store

______ 10.  Living by herself

______ 11.  Fifteen went home

______ 12.  That we bought

______ 13.  To act responsibly

______ 14.  Who decided to leave

______ 15.  While talking on the phone

______ 16.  While we talked

______ 17.  Aside from that

______ 18.  I say

______ 19. Though the motor was running

______ 20. Since Monday Mary has  disappeared

______ 21.  Unless she knew the truth

______ 22.   To be the last-place team in the league

______ 23.  When on time

______ 24.  If you like

______ 25.  By popular consent

______ 26.  Many were walking

______ 27.  Unless we meet at once

______ 28.  Because of your interest

______ 29.  As I should have guessed

______ 30.  Racing to the sea last evening

______ 31.  Race to the sea

______ 32.  Several were wrong

______ 33.  Until the matter is settled

______ 34.  Dealt a losing hand

______ 35.  Do your work quickly

______ 36.  If problems arise

______ 37.  That may win

______ 38.  Since few can go

______ 39.  Getting all the answers correct

______ 40.  Although the time has come

Exercise 3: 

______ 1. Under extreme pressure

______ 2. To turn to the right

______ 3. Knitting is difficult

______ 4. Who the best candidate will be

______ 5. In time of extreme danger

______ 6 Listen

______ 7. When I heard

______ 8. Until you told me

______ 9. I was chosen

______ 10. Whom he addressed

______ 11. Seen in the park

______ 12. Walk carefully

______ 13. Angered by that remark

______ 14. Before the exam

______ 15. Before he left

______ 16. On the floor were my books

______ 17. Jump

______ 18. Since swimming in the lake

______ 19. Riding home in the car

______ 20. Besides jogging

______ 21. After the dinner party

______ 22. Each answered

______ 23. Driving home

______ 24. Reading helps

______ 25. Giving him a lift

______ 26. Speak clearly

______ 27. Since few arrived

______ 28. No one saw

______ 29. Jumping is exhausting.

______ 30. Besides doing your work

______ 31. Until we leave

______ 32. That fell

______ 33. Where it fell

______ 34. Before crossing the street

______ 35. While we waited

______ 36. Have a great time

______ 37. Which is yours

______ 38. No one cared

______ 39. Left for dead

______ 40. Because they went

Packet 4.doc

4/09;  Disk YY (51); g:ASC Eng Read

B.  Underline the dependent clauses and circle the    subordinating conjunctions    (dependent words) that introduce the dependent clauses.

Exercise 1:

  1. I refused to go because I had homework to do.
  1. I could make good grades if I studied.
  1. After I finish college, I’ll get a job.
  1. They were playing Frisbee while he was studying.
  1. Her essay would have been better if she had rewritten it.
  1. Unless you return your library book today, you’ll have to pay a fine of ten cents per day.
  1. A large vocabulary is the characteristic that most often accompanies outstanding  success.
  1. He was searching for the money that he had dropped in the snow on Christmas Day.
  1. Although he looked a long time, he couldn’t find it.
  1. Until you understand subjects and verbs, you cannot understand clauses and their purposes in sentences.

Exercise 2:

  1. You can’t do your best when you are tired.
  2. I’d have been waiting still if you hadn’t called.
  3. The crowd cheered when one of the Navy players came onto the field.
  4. They roared with excitement as he raced down to the goal line.
  5. I have always hoped that I could someday go to the Super Bowl.
  6. He took his car although he really preferred his motorcycle.
  7. If it’s nice tomorrow, we’ll hike up Old Baldy.
  8. While the leaves are still on the trees, let’s take some pictures.
  9. I thought that you were coming with me.

While she is away, someone will take her pl

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